National #BoycottCinemark Campaign

Philadelphia, PA
On Friday, June 22nd, our family was watching a movie and a continuous beeping sound disrupted our experience. The management at the theater failed to address the technical disruption at which point we requested and received a full refund for our tickets, and were to exit the theater immediately. At this point, we informed the General Manager that we needed to return to the theater to retrieve our children, and we were told that we could not reenter the theater. The directive to leave without our children was unacceptable, causing my wife to go back and retrieve them, prompting the General Manager to call the police and send onsite security to confront us outside the theater. My family’s experience at Cinemark 6 at 40th and Walnut on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania is a microcosm of the Black experience of men, women, and children throughout America.

We are asking people across the country to pledge support to #boycottcinemark until the following demands are met:

  1. The firing of the General Manager on shift who unnecessarily contacted the police on a Black family for simply refusing to leave the theater without the children that they came with.

  2. A clearly written and articulated policy and procedure for contacting police if an incident does arise at the theater.

  3. Investment from Cinemark corporation in training for conflict resolution for all staff and the replacement of hired security with certified mediation specialists.

  4. An end to the draconian and unreasonable implementation of a bag restriction policy at the theater that has caused previous unnecessary conflicts due to it being an arbitrary measure to criminalize and police people.

  5. A formal apology issued from Cinemark corporation acknowledging their disregard to our several attempts to contact them and for the statement given to media before following up with our complaint.

  6. At the root of this issue is civilians attempting to police Black life, and when faced with any resistance they weaponize the police force by calling them in to “deal” with situations that can be resolved without police presence. These individuals are putting an undue burden on local and state governments, while simultaneously diverting much needed resources towards frivolous circumstances. Therefore we call on city council and/ or Pennsylvania state legislature to pass legislation meant to deter these frivolous misuses of police enforcement.

Action Steps

If you are dedicated to affirming the dignity of Black life and the Black family, we call on you to contact the Cinemark corporate office at 1-800-246-3627 and assist us in pressuring this establishment to implement policies & procedures that recognizes the humanity of all its customers. In addition, if you are interested in supporting organizing work in this area, we ask for any monetary donations to be sent to Black Lives Matter Philly chapter or the Caucus of Working Educators

racial justice committee, who do the important grassroot work around issues of racial justice in Philadelphia. Please also use the hashtags #boycottcinemark #cinemarksam #cinemarkseparatesfamilies if posting on social media.

Our Actions

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