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British cinema chain growing up

Vue Entertainment offering more adult fare

Fed up with noisy kids spoiling your trip to the plex?

Brit exhib chain Vue Entertainment has introduced selected adult-only screenings.

Bond pic “Quantum of Solace” is rated 12A in the U.K., meaning it’s open to those age 12 and up. But Vue has been running over-18 screenings in 58 of its cinemas since Nov. 7. and found plenty of receptive moviegoers.

Vue sales and marketing director Mark de Quervain says the rollout follows extensive research and trials.

“A significant number of cinemagoers wanted to see PG, 12A and 15-rated films in screenings that could avoid unwanted disruptions that can sometimes be caused by audiences under the age of 18,” he notes.

But the move hasn’t delighted everyone. Some are incensed by what they consider an affront to multiculturalism.

“If you start segregating people, so that different groups don’t have to put up with each others’ customs, what happens is that each group just becomes more extreme, and the process intensifies,” argues William Leith in his blog for Guardian Unlimited, adding, “These days, more and more people leave their children behind when they go to restaurants, or parties — the latest phenomenon is child-free weddings. But this is not helpful in the long run, is it? It’s by going to these things, over time, that children learn how to behave properly.”

Vue’s initiative is the latest in a recent spate of moves by U.K. exhibs have been keen of late to boost their profile by offering something different. Arthouse chain Picturehouse introduced popcorn-free screenings — to the dismay of traditionalists but the delight of auds sick of the smell and noise.

Other pics skedded for over-18 screenings by Vue in December include “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Australia” and “Yes Man.”

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