The newest Minions movie has seen a lot of people filling theatres to see it, although it may not be quite what you expect.

A Tik Tok trend has teens and pre-teens wearing suits to theatres to watch Minions, Rise of Gru. Usually, these watchers are extra enthusiastic and will cheer loudly during the movie.

Strathmore's own Joyland Theatre became part of the action last Friday. While seeing the kids in suits was unusual, some viewers like Michelle Hille initially thought nothing of it.

"As we're going to get our seats we were just kind of ambushed by all these young boys in grey suits with sunglasses on. Which honestly I was like 'this is cute, they're dressing up, they're excited for the premiere of the movie.' I didn't think anything of it," Hille said.

However, once the movie started it was a different story.

"They screamed and cheered for the entire movie. It wasn't in portions of the movie where things were funny, it was literally the entire thing. It was horrible to be honest with you, we couldn't hear the movie, my 7-year-old took my 5-year-old to go to the bathroom, and when they were going they were getting pelted with ice. It was horrendous."

Hille added she understands that kids want to be energetic and have a good time, but it crossed a line on Friday.

"I totally get preteens being preteens, I was a preteen once in my life, so I totally get kids being kids and getting excited. I am 100 per cent for kids having a great time, I'm pretty understanding because I get it, but that was on another level."

Efforts were made by some parents in the theatre to calm the situation down, but Hille said the situation was so out of hand the parents had no choice but to give up.

"It was pure mayhem, I've never been in a situation like that before. I felt like I was at a concert or just in pure chaos. It was pure chaos, that's how I can explain it."

The chaos in the theatre was a bit of a surprise for owner Jeff Larson, who said the kids were polite before it started.

"There was a large group of them and they were all overly excited coming in and everything, but they were all very respectful when buying their food, it was 'please, thank you' and everything. Before the movie started they were a little noisy and we told them to keep it quiet and everything, but they were just excited," Larson said.

Larson and his wife were working the concession stand that night, which made it difficult to keep the situation under control.

"It was hard to police them to go in and tell them to be quiet. I'd gone in a couple of times and I looked and it was hard to isolate exactly where it was coming from because there was so many of them. So we just decided to leave it be and let them have some fun and blow off some steam."

While the Tik Tok trend is what spurred these kids on, Larson also believes that COVID played a big role.

"These kids, after two years of COVID restrictions, and being locked down and not able to gather in groups and everything, having no place to go because everything was shut down, they were all excited to be here and they all really enjoyed the movie. At the end of the movie they all clapped and cheered at the end of the show."

It was an unprecedented situation for Larson, who said the theatre is normally pretty quiet. Handling a situation like this isn't as easy as kicking people out, since that could lead to a whole other set of issues.

"I would've had a bigger problem if I would've turned the show off and kicked them all out. God knows what would've happened then. And I didn't want to do that, it was easier for us to let them have some fun, and the people that complained about the noise levels, give them some passes to come back another night." 

"I didn't want to start a riot or anything by turning the movie off and clearing the house, I would've had to basically boot everybody out and say 'ok everybody get up and go.' And then it's hard to isolate, when you get that many kids together you tell them all to leave, and then the ones that will go home and complain to the parents 'well we got kicked out of the show and we weren't even doing anything, we weren't making any noise.' Then you have the parents coming down and yelling at you for kicking their kid out when they said they weren't doing anything."

Larson offered people that complained free passes to see the show again another night. He believes that this was a one-time event, and the theatre has been quiet since Friday night.

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