Family of girl with special needs asked to leave theater because of ‘loud breathing’​

Family of girl with special needs asked to leave theater because of ‘loud breathing’​

News Staff

A West Virginia family is hurt after they were asked to leave a movie theater.

Shannon Davis told WSAZ that she and her wife, Gina, have adopted four children, including 12-year-old Charlie.

“She’s a victim of shaken baby syndrome,” Davis said. “It rendered her blind and quadriplegic. She didn’t know what a mom was until we taught her.”

Over the weekend, the family took Charlie to see “Jurrasic World: Fallen Kingdom” at the Huntington Mall Cinemark.

“She loves to go to the movies,” Davis said. “It’s her favorite thing because they offer audio described headsets.”

The family was reportedly sitting in the handicapped section and a man was sitting directly in front of them.

“She can’t talk, so she wasn’t vocalizing or yelling, but she was breathing fast,” Davis said. “She was very excited to get to do her favorite thing.”

The man seated near them complained to the manager that Charlie was making too much noise. About 30 minutes into the film, an employee told the family they would have to leave.

“He said her breathing was too much for everybody, I guess, and we needed to leave,” Davis said. “It broke my heart.”

A spokesperson for Cinemark confirmed the account in a statement released to WSAZ:

“During the movie on Saturday evening, customers reached out to our theater staff complaining that a young girl was experiencing labored breathing, and the loud noises were causing a disruption to the movie experience in the auditorium,” the spokesperson said. “Our manager entered the auditorium, listened during both quiet and action-filled movie scenes, and determined that the loud breathing was making it difficult to hear the movie’s audio.”

Davis said the family was offered a refund to come back for a private screening, but that it isn’t good enough.

“We just want the precedent set and maybe for them to teach their employees how to handle the situation better in the future,” Shannon said.

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