Should Dogs Be Allowed in Movie Theaters?

In response, to lower sales, theaters have begun exploring novel strategies to bring customers back into the viewing experience. No small part of this shift is making concessions more palatable for today’s discerning dog owners. One of the most divisive proposals is whether or not to allow dogs inside. Should Dogs Be Allowed in Movie Theaters?

With over 58 million pet owners in America, a projected 3 million more every year, and 59% of households in the U.K. owning a pet, it’s no wonder why this topic has become so prominent. Not only are there arguments in favor of helping disabled customers, there is the mooted point, customers would be willing to pay more to have the luxury in their eyes of cuddling their favorite pooch while taking in the latest flick. Read until the end to lap up the arguments for and against and learn which movie theaters allow dogs and their rules.

Why Allow Dogs in Movie Theaters?

There are positive reasons why movie theaters should allow dogs. Firstly, it’s perfectly legal to do so in America and the UK. Another reason why some people say dogs should be allowed in theaters is that they’re exceptionally helpful for people with disabilities. For example, a service dog can assist a person with autism or a person with diminished sight by being a calming presence. In fact, many people with disabilities agree that they don’t feel as excluded when dogs are allowed in theaters.

The Downside of Allowing Dogs in Movie Theaters

Perhaps the single biggest issue with allowing dogs in movie theaters is that some people simply don’t like dogs due to being allergic to dander or naturally being worried about them going to toilet in their isle. This means that a lot of people would rather keep their distance from dogs. In other words, allowing dogs in movie theaters would likely be the source of many disputes.

Dogs could create a hygiene hazard including hair on seats to fur on the floor or worse as discussed. It’s also worth noting that some dogs are prone to excessive drooling, which could cause stains on carpets. Noise pollution such as barking could trigger disputes. Strangely, some theaters have actually hired “cuddle coaches” to help people learn how to properly cuddle with their pooches.

List of Movie Theaters in America That Allow Dogs

AMC: AMC employees are not allowed to turn away a service animal to enter the theater. In most states, they also aren’t allowed to ask you for paperwork or anything to prove that your service animal is certified. This national chain of movie theaters allows dogs inside the theater, but not on the actual seats. The only downside is that the AMC website doesn’t have a full list of locations that allow dogs. Instead, you’ll have to call your local theater and ask about their pet-friendly policies.

  • The Alamo Drafthouse has a long-standing reputation for being a dog-friendly theatre, and its events even include “doggerel” readings. A good example is the Alamo in Texas: Located in Pano, Texas, K9 Cinemas allows dog-lovers to watch movies on the big screen in the company of their four-legged friends. The standard admission price of $15 also includes bottomless wine.
  • ArcLight Cinemas: ArcLight Cinemas is a California-based chain that has been dog-friendly since the beginning. The only catch is that you’ll have to leave your dog outside during the actual show.
  • Carmike Cinemas: Carmike Cinemas is another nationwide theater chain that allows dogs in the lobby and sometimes even inside the theater itself.
  • Classic Cinemas: Classic Cinemas is a small chain of movie theaters that has made headlines for their dog-friendly policies. Dogs are allowed in the theater and even allowed to sit on the chairs.
  • Cinemark: This chain of theaters allows dogs both inside the theater and on the patio.
  • Cinetopia: Cinetopia boasts itself as being the “Ultimate Movie Experience” and welcomes dogs at all of its theaters.
  • Landmark Theaters: Landmark Theaters is a chain of Arthouse movie theaters that allows dogs on the patio, but not in the theater itself.

Many Movie theaters while prohibiting normal pet dogs in movie shows, put on special nights for owners and their dogs. Phoenix Art Museum even hosts a monthly “Paws and Go” movie night. For a fun weekend trip, you can take your dog to the Colorado Hot Springs Film Festival. You can also catch the occasional dog-friendly screening at the Cinecave theater in Greenwich.

District of Columbia: In the nation’s capital, dogs are allowed at the Angelika Film Center, West End Cinema and the National Geographic Society’s theatre.

Louisiana: In Louisiana, you can catch a movie at the Cine LASOU in Baton Rouge, the Cine Lumiere in New Orleans, the Grand 16 in Lafayette and the Grand 16 in Metairie.

Maryland: In Maryland, you can catch a dog-friendly movie at the Maryland Film Festival, the Muvico Theatres in Bowie and the Muvico Theatres in Rockville.

List of Movie Theaters (Cinemas) in the UK That Allow Dogs

Odeon Cinema: Almost all Odeon cinemas are dog-friendly. All you need to do is make sure that your furry friend is on a leash. Moreover, there are specific Odeon cinemas suited for dogs. These include Odeon Leeds, Odeon Milton Keynes, and Odeon Sheffield. Contact them first to be sure.

Cineworld Cinema: Cineworld is one of the largest cinema chains in the UK. It has a wide network of cinemas spread across the country. However they only allow guide dogs and other assistance dogs.

Picturehouse Cinema: Every month or so, ‘well-behaved dogs’ and their ‘friendly owners’ are welcome at certain film screenings which usually take place on Sunday morning. Amazingly owners are given a doggy fleece to cover the dog’s seat or on the floor. Bowls of water are distributed around the screen for the pooches and lighting is brighter.

In Conclusion

The rule of thumb across the world is that service or care dogs are always welcome into movie theaters or cinemas to assist their disabled owners. However, its unlikely you’ll find many theaters welcoming non-assist dogs to their plush surroundings.

Keep an eye out for special doggy days that buck that trend. It appears some theaters, if well prepared will throw owner and dog events with novelty entertainment value. To mark the release of Wes Anderson’s new film, Isle of Dogs, many movie theaters (cinemas) held special bring your dog events.

To confirm their dog friendliness levels I would contact your movie theater directly. The odds are that most movie theaters won’t welcome normal pooches to avoid turning audiences into unfriendly, ruff crowds.

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