Parents Up in Arms Over Glasgow Pavilion's 'Babies in Arms' Policy

Parents Up in Arms Over Glasgow Pavilion's 'Babies in Arms' Policy

Parents are up in arms about the rigid "babies in arms" policy at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre, which refers to "inconsiderate parents" ruining the experience of other theatergoers.

The Pavilion says the policy was created after "numerous complaints," according to the BBC.

Local mom and primary school teacher Emma Smith, who has a 6-year-old daughter and a 15-month-old son, read the rules after seeing that the children's show JUSTIN'S PARTY, featuring CBeebies' Justin Fletch, would be coming to the venue.

"I couldn't believe it," she told the BBC. "Babies are not allowed to be sick or cry - it's ridiculous. Some shows are just for adults and that's fair enough, but this is for children. Most people have more than one child and are likely to be bringing babies," she said.

Parents have been criticizing the Pavilion's policy on a local Facebook group titled "Help What Am I Going To Do Today?!" calling it "shocking" and "horrendous," with some refusing to attend the theatre in the future.

Owner Iain Gordon called the policy a "common-sense approach," which had stood at the theater since 2007. He told the BBC: "I must also add that most theatres in the country now adopt a similar policy and only recently cinemas have also had to take similar steps, so it's hardly a new story. We try hard throughout the year and have always been known as Glasgow's Family Theatre and we are proud that we try to ensure that everyone coming to the theatre, young and old, enjoys their visit."

Below is the complete policy from the Pavilion's website:

Dear Customer,

We apologise for this notice, but during some shows numerous complaints have been made by patrons regarding babies in arms, so much so that we felt that we had to actively respond to these complaints.

We do not think that the theatre is a place for any child who cannot yet walk and can be very distressing during certain performances due to flashing lights and loud sound levels and changing atmosphere within the auditorium.

We have therefore drawn up this policy to advise customers before booking tickets.

The following is the current theatre policy on babies in arms. This has been made necessary due to the large number of inconsiderate parents with very young babies which has led to other customer's enjoyment of the show being spoiled. It is unfortunate that we have to treat everybody the same but experiences over the past few years have given us no alternative.

If you do have to bring a baby in arms it is important that you read the terms and conditions below which are there to ensure that other people's enjoyment is not spoiled.

1. All Babies in arms must be paid and accounted for. This keeps us in line with the correct licensing numbers of the theatre.

2. Babies crying must be removed from the auditorium as quickly as possible. This is to avoid disruption to other customers.

3. Changing of nappies must be carried out, out with the auditorium. This perhaps sounds bizarre but this has happened numerous times and can be disgusting to those surrounding this area.

4. Babies being fed and winded; please ensure that when winding your child every effort is made to avoid your baby being sick. We have had numerous complaints and had material claims from customers who have had their evening/performance spoiled and clothes damaged due to babies being sick over them. If for any reason your baby is sick please inform a member of staff who will arrange for the on duty cleaner to clean this up.

5. Please consider the customers behind you when handling your baby; it is important that you do not block the view of the child or patron behind you, thus spoiling the show for them.

6. Please also consider the customers in front of you at all times.

7. Please ensure that other customers can easily exit the row with the minimum of disruption.

8. In the event of evacuation please ask an usher if you need assistance.

9. Please do not argue with staff, if you are requested to remove your baby from the auditorium they will only be considering other patrons when asking you to do this. Arguing with staff only disrupts other members of the audience and will lead to you being removed from the premises under the current Licensing Scotland Act 2005. We as a company have a zero tolerance to abuse of staff be it physical or verbal.

10. Please turn off your mobile phone and only use in an Emergency situation.

11. All Auditorium staff are appointed First Aider's if required.

I hope you appreciate our concerns and hope that you can comply with the above policy, in the event of other customer's enjoyment being spoiled by inconsiderate parents we will always ask the person making the disturbance to leave the theatre.

This policy has only been issued to avoid any unnecessary disturbance to other members of the audience and I hope you appreciate why we have had to implement this.

Iain Gordon

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