#GoingToTheMoviesWhileBlack: Parents Say Movie-Theater Manager Called Cops on Them After They Tried to Retrieve Kids From Cinema

Ismael Jimenez is seen talking to one of the many cops who came to respond to the movie-theater manager’s call.
Ismael Jimenez is seen talking to one of the many cops who came to respond to the movie-theater manager’s call.
Screenshot: Ashley Jimenez (Facebook)

People are still out here calling the cops on black folks for the most asinine of reasons, even if those black folks (parents, in this situation) are simply trying to go get their kids from a movie theater.


This is what happened at one West Philly Cinemark over the weekend.

A black family had gone to attend a screening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when the manager called the police on them after a verbal dispute.

“A black person’s considered a threat immediately,” Ismael Jimenez, 36, a teacher at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School and the father pictured in the viral Facebook footage, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So therefore, if they are defiant to you, instead of actually dealing with the issue, you are calling the police.”

The incident started around 9:40 p.m. on Friday when Ismael and his wife, Ashley, requested a refund about an hour into Friday’s 7:45 p.m. showing of the latest Jurassic World movie. The reason for the request was a loud beeping noise that kept on going off near them, their four sons and two of the sons’ friends. The couple had left the children—except for the 3-year-old, who was the youngest—in the theater while they went to request the refund.

So far no problem, right?

The manager provided the refund, but then things went awry when he wouldn’t allow them to re-enter the theater to retrieve the other kids. The couple protested, at which point the manager refused and called the police when Ashley went back in anyway.


One officer, who was already in the building at the time, approached Ismael. Ashley, who at this time was already back with her children, started recording.

“Ask us to leave, why? Because they messed up?” Ismael could be heard asking the officer.

Several cops were seen surrounding Ismael.

Ashley wrote in the Facebook post accompanying the video:

Last night at the movies there was a consistent loud beeping noise where we were sitting. After requesting politely to [rectify] the issue, the managerial staff failed to correct the issue and we had to ask for a refund. The manager then said we had to leave immediately and said we couldn’t go back into the theater and get our children,. When we said that is not an option and we were going to get our children, they called the police on us. This video recorded our interaction with the police and the absurdity of the police being called in the first place.#whitefear #complainingwhileblack #yurugu #moneyback #8to12police


Ismael said that his eldest son, who is 11, was so frightened, he ran to the bathroom to throw up, according to the Inquirer.

“He was worried that I was going to get hurt,” Ismael said, noting that he has talked to his son about the potential dangers of interacting with police.


As the video rolls, a bystander can be heard angrily chiming in, “Does this really call for more than six fucking officers right now?”

Eventually, a black officer can be seen attempting to calm the situation. No one was arrested.


But to echo the unseen bystander, why did police have to get involved in the first place? I understand that interrupting a movie isn’t ideal, but if all they wanted to do was make sure that the family didn’t sit back down and watch the movie after getting the refund, a manager or an assistant could have guided them back into the theater while they retrieved their kids. It’s not as if people don’t regularly get up during a movie to go to the bathroom or get snacks or whatever it is. And to hear the Jimenez family tell it, the movie was already a bust because of the beeping that was going on.

But as Ismael Jimenez, who is a member of Black Lives Matter Philly, said himself, black people are always a threat, I guess.



Couldn’t they just send an usher with her?