So…has anyone taken their little ones to see The Good Dinosaur yet? How did it go?
I ask because I, ummm, somewhat naively took my little guys to see it the day after Thanksgiving. My boys (ages 2 & 5) had never been to a movie in a theater before, and since they are OBSESSED with dinosaurs right now (as you may know from our adventures in this post and this post), I thought this was the perfect opportunity for that momentous first movie!
Well, I was sort of right. Don’t get me wrong, they were super excited to go and the movie was entertaining for the most part. But…it might have been a little much for two kiddos who have never experienced surround sound before. Let’s just say there were a lot of loud thunderstorms in the movie 🙂 And some other kinda scary parts where the characters are in peril of one kind or another (which is pretty much always– prehistory was no picnic apparently! Ha!). It wasn’t exactly the happy-go-lucky, hakuna matata tale I had been expecting (guess I need to pay a little more attention to movie ratings–this one is PG, not G). But the good news is that both boys sat through the whole movie and seemed to enjoy the overall experience– even after their popcorn had been depleted! So it felt like a win to me 🙂
And the really good news is that I have found the perfect theater to take your little ones for their first (or second or third or fourth) movie adventure: Gallery Cinemas in Colchester.
Pre-kids, whenever hubby and I wanted to catch a movie, we usually headed out to Manchester, CT to the movie theater at Buckland Hills. But that theater is soooooooo gigantic that I was thinking it might be a bit overwhelming for two pint-sized movie newbies.
Add in that we were planning to go the day after Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Black Friday), and a theater near a dozen shopping centers and a mall did not seem like the best idea 🙂
So when my friend mentioned the theater in Colchester, which I kind of remembered passing by on a few of my previous Colchester outings (like this one and this one), I thought that sounded like the perfect destination for a post Turkey Day cinema adventure. So we decided to meet up with her and her son there for a matinee.
We arrived for the 12:15pm movie about 30 minutes early because we weren’t really sure how long it was going to take us to wrangle the boys into their seats taking into account the pre-movie potty pit stops, popcorn purchasing, etc. Even the day after Thanksgiving, it didn’t seem overly crowded and there was plenty of parking.
The doors were actually locked when we got there at 11:45am, but they opened them right up. The staff member I talked to said the cinema opens at 11:30am, so I guess don’t get there too early 🙂
We got our tickets and the boys went directly to the area with video games to check those out (and by “boys” I also mean my husband). As you can see from the pictures, it’s a fairly small lobby so you don’t have to be too worried about losing track of your little ones while you pay for tickets or purchase snacks.
The nice thing about 5-year-olds and 2-year-olds is that sometimes they think these games are fun even if they are not really playing them 🙂
In any event, it helped to pass the time. As did checking out this antique car that was smack dab in the middle of the lobby. I’m not sure if that’s always there, but it was pretty neat.
I also noticed this adorable little birthday nook. Apparently Gallery Cinemas has a birthday party package. That sounds like a fun idea for a unique birthday party!
Before too long, we decided it was time to start heading in the general direction of the theater. First stop, the concession stand for popcorn. Not knowing how my antsy kiddos would do sitting for over an hour and a half, I thought I would at least tip the scales in my favor with some popcorn for them to munch on.
And then it was onto the theater!
These boys look ready for a movie, right?!
During the show, we did have to go in and out a couple of times, but it didn’t cause too much disruption. The theater is on the small side and the restrooms are nearby so it wasn’t that inconvenient to step out when needed.
Another nice thing about this theater is that they offer BARGAIN TUESDAYS where tickets are just $5 each all day long. So that’s a great time to take your toddler or preschooler to see a show. Movie tickets are so expensive these days. Who wants to pay full price if you don’t know if your kiddos will last more than half an hour, right?
All in all, I think the kids did great. They enjoyed their popcorn. They enjoyed the movie (overall). And I am so happy to have a new favorite movie theater…that is nowhere near a shopping mall 🙂
But next time, I am going to pay a little more attention to that ratings system…
396 Old Hartford Road, Colchester, CT 06415
Or contact them via email here.
- Open daily. Check their website for movie times.
Regular Evening Admission
- Adults – $10.00
Children (11 and under) – $7.00
Seniors (62 and over) – $7.00
Active Military (With ID) – $7.00
Matinees (before 5pm) All Shows – $7.00
3D Surcharge All Seats – $3.00 surcharge
- BARGAIN TUESDAYS–$5.00 per ticket all day long!
- Stroller Friendly: You can definitely use a stroller to get into and around in the building if you need to, but it might be tricky to keep it with you in the theater during the movie. If it’s a small one that collapses, you could put it by your feet, but you probably don’t want to bring something big and bulky that would block the aisle. If you are toting an infant who needs to stay in something, you’re probably better off just bringing your carseat carrier or a wearable baby carrier.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: You know, in my anxiety about making sure everyone got to their seats on time, I did not check in about any outside food policies. I would imagine outside food is not allowed, but there was a range of foods and beverages offered at the concession stand and they may even have had coffee there for purchase. I’ll check on my next visit 🙂
- Restroom: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: I did not see one.
- Parking: YES.
- Food for Sale: YES. They have snacks like popcorn and candy, and I’m pretty sure I also saw some more substantial things like hot dogs on the menu.
- Outside Food Allowed: See response to “Coffee Mug Friendly” above. Although, I will note that I brought in the boys’ water bottles (can’t give a two-year-old a regular ol’ bottle of Poland Springs without that ending badly!) and no one gave me a hard time about that. In general, I get the feeling that this theater is pretty family-friendly.
- Cash Required: NO for movie tickets and concessions (credit cards accepted). But if you want to play the video games you’ll need cash for that. There is a change machine.
- Dress Code: None.
- Age Recommendations: ALL AGES (It was the first movie for my 2-year-old and he did great! But you know best when your kiddo is ready for his or her first movie theater experience.)
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Discounts: Bargain Tuesdays $5/ticket all day long!
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