Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Baby Brigade": Meet the Parents

From the East Bay Express
Though Speakeasy Theaters didn't invent the concept of a specially designated movie night for new parents, the Parkway's phenomenally popular and world famous "Baby Brigade" on Monday nights, wherein  filmgoers with infants had the 6:30 and 7pm shows to themselves, became one of the unique venue's trademark offerings. Baby Brigade was the brainchild of Speakeasy president and co-founder Catherine Fischer, who gave birth to the notion after her sister complained she couldn't go to the movies anymore after her first child was born, since most movie theaters didn't allow screaming babies because of the possible distraction and disruption. So Catherine figured, if they're all crying in unison (the babies, that is), nobody will complain. (Except for non-breeders like me, but we soon learned to avoid those particular showtimes. Too bad they didn't have a cat daddy night...) Even the individual film's sound levels were adjusted depending on the genre - for instance, action films in particular had to be toned down so as not to wake the kids. But that was okay, because Baby Brigade was mainly a social event. Fellow breeders traded toddler tips between beer sips, creating their own networking support system and subculture within the greater Parkway community. It was an immediate sensation, and made a typically slow night at the theater a lucrative occasion. It was the proverbial win-win situation. 

The only strict rule was that parents had to be 21 or over per the regular age policy, and their babies had to be one year or under, basically too young to run around and possibly bump their heads on a table in the dark or something.  The Parkway even set up diaper-changing stations in the restrooms. No poopy pants on the sofas!

From the San Francisco Chronicle
Procreating patrons were incredibly grateful to enjoy a temporary weekly haven where they could sit back and relax and not worry about cooking and washing dishes, while keeping up with the latest flicks. The concept's notoriety also garnered press for The Parkway in many major publications, including the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle and People Magazine. Even Al Roker flew out and filmed a segment for The Today Show on NBC! All in all, a screaming success.

The New Parkway plans its own Baby Night, stay tuned for details on that. Cheers.

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