Baby-Friendly Movie Theaters

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Feb 2009

Hello - I know of several movie theaters in San Francisco that has ''mommy showings'', or baby-friendly movie showings where the lights are dim but not dark, the volume is turned down, and I won't get glares if my baby starts crying... anybody know of something like this in the East Bay area, preferably around Alameda/Oakland? Thank you!

I'm sure you'll get a million recommendations for the Parkway in Oakland and its sister theatre, the Cerrito in El Cerrito. Both have ''Baby Brigade'' nights when you can bring the wee ones. We did it a couple times when our kids were little and it was fun. More info at JP
Check out the Baby Brigade at the Cerrito Speakeasy in El Cerrito. Betsy
Pizza, beer and babies! how can you go wrong ;) anon
Baby Bridage! The only one I know of is at the Speakeasy El Cerrito - the Parkway in Oakland discontinued theirs. It is every Tues, but unforunately the showings are in the evening, when I am normally trying to get my little one asleep, so I have never been able to go. New East Bay Mom
Try the El Cerrito Parkway: Every Monday night. It's not in Oakland but it totally fits your bill. They even serve food/drinks there, so it's a great night out for new moms/dads. Judiah
''Baby Brigade'' at the Cerrito Speakeasy Theater in El Cerrito (San Pablo Ave, just north of the El Cerrito BART station) Babies under 1 year old. First two shows on Tuesday evenings. Not exactly Alameda, but it is East Bay. The Parkway in Oakland used to do this, too, but not any more. They serve (sell) food, beer and wine, as well as great popcorn. web site is R.K.
The Parkway in El Cerrito has Tuesday night 'baby brigades' where babies under one year can come for the first show. (They no longer have baby brigades at their oakland location.) The info is here: You can even have dinner, beer and wine while you watch!! Andi
All your details here: Ellen
Check out the Cerrito Theater in El Cerrito. Lovin' the Speakeasy!
You should try the Parkway in Oakland and/or the Speakeasy in El Cerrito.....they both do baby brigades for kids one year and younger. They also serve pizza, beer, popcorn, etc......enjoy..... anon
I saw you received a number of responses recommending the Cerrito Theater in El Cerrito. It's a good option. I used to go to the Baby Brigade at the Parkway in Oakland until they discontinued the showing last June.

Here are a couple of others -- one in Alameda. You should check with the theaters to make sure they still do it as I know some are not every week (monthly instead) or have other special event nights that usurp baby night. Hope it helps! I know it's nice to get out to the show once in a while!

In El Cerrito, El Cerrito Speakeasy Tuesday nights for babies under one year (and their parents!) along with a pizza and beer.

In Alameda, the Central Cinema also has a baby night for those under a year. We found out about it just after both babies were too old to go - darn!

In San Francisco, realtor Jill Russo sponsors a monthly Mommy Movie on the second Thursday of each and every month. And itb1006>Comedies good for children ages 9 and 12 and me s FREE!

You can also check out Baby Pictures for theaters that participate in monthly baby shows.

*This info (aside from my personal note about the Cerrito/Parkway at the top) was taken from Rookie Moms: Movie goer

I was hoping that someone would have mentioned the Concord Drive-In, which is only open during the warmer weather. We discovered it when my daughter was 1.5 yrs old. We would put her in her pj's, drive to the drive-in, and she would fall asleep as soon as the movie started. It reopened last summer, so it will hopefully still be there this summer. It's fun to go with older kids, too! Let's support the Drive-In
Feb 2009

My ''moms group'' is looking for a movie theatre where we can go with our 3-month infants to watch a movie during the day. We know about the theatre in Oakland with Monday night programs, but we're looking for something in the morning or afternoon. Any ideas? Thanks!!! Anonymous Mom

I don't know of any other theatres in the East Bay but the Metreon Loews Theatre in S.F. has ''Reel Moms'' on Tuesdays at 11 am. The cost is $7.50 and they show new release movies. Just saw Troy and Shrek 2. Next Tues (6/1), they are showing Raising Helen. You can park at the Metreon parking lot or take BART and get off at the Powell exit. One nice touch is that they have valet stroller parking right before you enter the actual theatre where the movie is playing. Miriam
One tuesday, after I had taken my daughter to preschool for the day, I went to the Metreon at Yerba Buena in SF to enjoy three hours of Brad Pitt in Troy. I was perplexed to see a PLETHORA of Mamas with strollers waiting in line with me. ''What movie are you seeing?'' I asked the mom in front of me. ''Troy'' she replied. ARGHHHH! Turns out the movie I chose to see, the 11:00 AM on Tuesday, is always a Mama/Daddy with Babies ONLY movie. Check out what they have playing weekly at the Metreon in SF. Wish I had known about it when my daughter was an infant. I still need to see Troy! heidi
The Parkway on Park Ave in Oakland has Baby Brigade on Monday nights. It's very popular. The website is Sierra
Don't forget the Parkway Theater in Oakland, 1834 Park Boulevard, 510-814-2400. One mile west off the Park Boulevard exit of the 580 freeway. Baby Night/Cry Room at The Parkway, Mondays, 6:30 PM Show Downstairs and 7:00PM Show Upstairs. Parents are encouraged to bring their new babies (under one year) to the Monday 6:30PM show. Babies get in free, all others pay the usual admission fee of $5.00. The cozy atmosphere of the Parkway will suit your little family well. Stretch out on a couch, set your beer on the table, and cuddle junior in your lap. When the baby wakes up, put her up on your shoulder and stroll a little in the back of the theater. No need to miss out on the movie- everyone else will understand- they have one too!! Tim
If you haven't already heard, the GREATEST theater in the world, The Parkway on Park Street in Oakland, has a Monday Night ''Baby Brigade''. Monday evening the first two shows are for parents and their ''Babies in Arms''. That means carry your babe in, order food (they have an extensive pub-style menu) drinks (beer, wine and soda), settle on a couch and enjoy a movie with a background of baby babble and tears. Nobody will ever tell you to ''shhh'' in this crowd. We went EVERY week when our baby was young enough. It was such a great break that when we didn't have any interest in the movie we still went, and ordered a whole pitcher of beer. The Metreon is fine, but if you want a really great movie outing with your infant, support this Mom and Pop movie house and come on to the East Bay. I should note that the upstairs gets BLAZING hot in the summer, and the couches are a bit old -- we used to bring a sheet to throw over to keep baby relatively yuck-free. ENJOY! A
Two Recommendations:

I. As a mom and film nut I highly recommend The SOLANO DRIVE-IN!!! in Concord. ( phone # 925-825-1951, website )People bring children of all ages and it's truly all-good- there's even a playground there if you want to get out of your car, but I've found our daughter usually falls asleep on the way there or on the way back. One of the wonderful things about drive-ins is that is truly a Live-and-Let-Live situation- no one complains if a kid cries or if someone else wants to smoke a cigarette or whatever: the car is each person's bubble of freedom. It's also a double-feature admission. This week the following are playing: Shrek-2, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Day after tommorrow, Scooby Doo.

2. Someone has probably already mentioned this, but there is the Baby Brigade Monday nights at the Parkway Theatre in Oakland, . Baby Brigade is intended for children under 12months. Film Nut

I am sure you will get a million of responses but Park theater in Oakland is the place to go with infants. THey have monday nights especially for parents with infants. We have been there many times and really enjoyed it. THey have couches up front ad regular chairs also. The best part is the ticket is only $5 and they also serve pizza and beer. We can go to the movies too!
When I wanted to go to a movie w/ my infant (who was older than 1, and couldn't go to the Parkway anymore--not that they were showing the movie I wanted to see), I called the movie theaters showing the movie I wanted to see and asked them if they had a policy about infants. To my surprise, MOST said no, they had no problem, and yes, you can bring your baby, but be polite: take the kid out if she's crying and disrupting others (which also means get there early and choose a seat that will allow you to leave easily). I'd also suggest going at a time that the infant is likely to sleep, and bring whatever comfort things baby needs to sleep. And keep in mind: some babies get a little anxious when activity in the movie or the music reflects trouble. Mine started getting upset whenever something ''scary'' was happening on the movie, regardless of whether she was watching it. So be nice to your baby too! Plus, be careful about the noise for little ears, and potential boredom (mine never liked being confined to one place for too long). janet
Oct 2003

I passed the Metreon in San Francisco the other day and noticed that they have something called ''Mom's Reel'' where Mom and infant can see a movie on a specific morning each week...has anyone heard about this? I can't find any other information online about it. Do theatres in the East Bay offer this too? Sounds like a great idea for Mom's who love movies! --Haven't seen a movie in months

Hi there, I think this is what you are looking for: anon
I'm sure you're going to get a ton of posts about the Parkway, but I'll respond anyway because it saved this movie-loving mom! The Parkway has a movie night on monday nights for parents and friends of babies one year old and under. They have couches, tables, and lounge chairs instead of normal theater seating and offer food (pizza, pasta, salads), beer, wine, etc. which they serve you at your table in the theater. The movies are either still in theaters or just out and they usually feature a couple of movies for a week or so. Best part (besides being able to take the baby) is that it only costs $5 (or two for one on wednesdays--but no baby). I never thought the movie was too loud for my baby and did not find it annoying or even notice when other babies were crying. My favorite was seeing the dads in the back of the theater bouncing their babies. I would definitely recommend trying it out. I think its comfortable and has a great atmosphere. The Parkway theater is located on the southern side of lake merrit in Oakland at 1834 Park Blvd near 18th. They have a website Have fun! Karen
I am sure many people will respond to this but the Parkway theatre in Oakland has movies on Monday nights for parents and their infants (up to one year). 6:30 and 7:00 pm showings. go to and go to now playing. You can also sign up on the site to get weekly updates on their shows. On saturday matinees are all ages. We went to the movies almost every monday for a year- the only movies I saw in the theatre during that period and I am ever so grateful to the folks over there for providing this important service. If you get there early you can usually procure a couch- bring a sheet though as somtimes they seem a little grimy for a little one. The crying really isn't as bad as you think it might be and I never had a problem hearing or following the movies (I even saw Rabbit Proof Fence there!) They also have a bar and food so get a pint and a pizza and go-go-go! Juliette
I'm sure you'll get a dozen submissions for the Parkway Theatre in Oakland on Park Ave near the lake at the far end (I can't remember the address but they have a website- Every Monday night they have Baby Brigade night with two different movie options. They call themselves a speakeasy theatre and so have couches in the front for early birds and have real food like pizza and sandwiches to buy. And it's only $5. The only catch is that your little one can't be walking yet - they say under 1 year old. (makes sense) S.W.
Hey, you're in luck! The Parkway Theater, on Park Blvd in Oakland, offers movie nights specifically for parents with babies under 12 months. It's nice because they serve food too (pizza etc.), and have comfy chairs and couches to sit on (if you get there early), so makes a nice night out. Check out Karen
I happened to see an article on this exact topic in the latest issue of Fit Pregnancy. They didn't list the Bay Area as one of the current cities featuring this great idea but I'm happy to hear at least the Metreon has it. They listed a website as a resource for current listings. Michelle
(Moderator) Thanks to everyone else who recommended Parkway.