I vividly remember my first proper trip to the cinema. I went to see E.T. at the Odeon with my big brothers on – I think – Boxing Day, 1982 (I realise I am giving my age away there). They then bought me an E.T. mask from Woolworths, which I wore for most of the following year.
Thankfully, I haven’t seen E.T. since, so the spell it had over me is unbroken (someone told me it was really boring if you watch it as an adult, but I refuse to believe it).
I loved my first experience of cinema and I still love it now – even though I hardly ever go (sob!). I can’t remember the last time I sat stuffing my face with popcorn. We didn’t even manage baby cinema for reasons that are lost in the sleep deprived haze of early motherhood.
I can’t wait for my toddler to be able to sit down long enough to watch a whole film, but I don’t think it’ll be for a while yet. About 30 minutes is her limit – even when I made it very clear that Mummy wanted to watch Paddington.
Just before Christmas, we had our first cinema trip together, though.We went to see ‘The Snowman’ at the Stratford Picturehouse, which was showing as part of Toddler Time. Quite a few Picturehouses have a Toddler Time – a showing that’s exclusively for pre-school children (and their parents).
At the timing I’m writing, Toddler Time is Monday 11am at Stratford and Greenwich Picturehouses, and Tuesday 11am at Hackney Picturehouse (Check for the latest here, as well as the details of other Picturehouse cinemas).
Unfortunately, the films aren’t generally as lovely as ‘The Snowman’. Most weeks, they show a 30 minute selection of CBBC or similar cartoons – no cleverly written Pixar-style film designed to amuse mums and other adults too, sadly.
On the plus side though, it’s cheap and an alternative to staying in and going mad on a rainy Monday.
What? Toddler Time cinema
Where? Picturehouse cinemas
When? Check here
How much? £3 for your todder. Nothing, yes that’s nothing, for you (March 2016 – check here for latest)
Facilities and access Stratford Picturehouse is pretty good. There’s a lift, you can leave your pushchair at the back of the cinema. There are toilets, a cafe and plenty of running around space for before and after.