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Autistic son kicked out of movie theater after complaints; company re-iterates special needs program

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Imagine taking your child to a kid’s movie and being asked to leave three minutes in.

That’s what happened to an Appleton mom who’s son has special needs, but this story has a happy ending.

Hayley Frerking took her son, Jonathan to see Toy Story 4 at Marcus Theater in Appleton.

Hayley and Jonathan were asked to leave by management after receiving complaints about her son.

Her son is autistic and has Pervasive Development Disorder. Hayley describes her son as a social, lovable, and excitable.

Management offered to refund their money and free movie passes but for Jonathan’s mother, this isn’t a remedy because her child will always have this disability.

WFRV reached out to Marcus Theatre Group. We received the following response:

“Our company is pleased to offer our Reel Movies for Real Needs program that creates a welcoming and comfortable environment – lower sound, lights up – where families with children who need these accommodations can share the experience of seeing family-friendly films at our theatres. We started the program in 2010. We have a strong commitment to guest service and community support”

If you have a child with special needs below is a link to the website with additional information. (RMN is the notation in the movie listings.)

The select films are opening weekend on Saturday morning at 10:30 at select locations. The following is a link to the copy of the flier with the upcoming features. https://www.marcustheatres.com/amenities/theatre-technology/reel-movies-for-real-needs

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