Unaccompanied teens must show permission slip at Birmingham theater

With the final Hunger Games installment coming out this weekend, teens will surely be heading to the theaters. Teens wanting to head to the Emagine Palladium Theatre in Birmingham by themselves, though, will need to hand over a permission slip before they can buy tickets.

The permission slip, signed by a parent or legal guardian, states that they will be responsible for the conduct of the child. The permission slip then states the theater's Common Courtesy Code of Conduct that they expect the children to follow. This includes the generally accepted rules of movie-going that any person, regardless of age, would be expected to follow, and includes things like no cell phone use and no outside food or beverages.

This is a step up in privleges for teens at the Palladium. Until now, the theater's policy did not allow unaccompanied teenagers at all, unless their family had joined the membership program with the theater. The annual membership fee is $350.

That policy had been called unfair by many, and has even been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Under Michigan law public accommodations, businesses that are open to the public can't discriminate against people based on age," Dan Korobkin, deputy legal director of the ACLU, told FOX 2. "This sends the message that young people from wealthy backgrounds can be trusted on the premises of a movie theater."

"We recognize that perhaps we struck with too blunt an instrument when we completely outlawed unaccompanied teens, so we thought, 'You know what we really care about is that parents take responsibility for the behavior of their children in this particular venue,'" says Paul Glantz, Emagine co-founder. 

The permission slip can be found on the Palladium Theatre's website.

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