I always feel so helpless when I read stuff like this. People really disgust me. I know I know...people ARE sometimes disruptive, but a certain amount of compassion and understanding goes a long long way. All of the used arguments come to mind for those supporting people that have issues...but really, the words fall on deaf ears. People that stupidly demand that their moment have no interuptions or interference deserve to be treated like the selfish, self serving louts they are.
Ontario man asked to leave theatre over Tourette Syndrome tics
Louis-Philippe Drexhage was kicked out of a movie theatre because of the tics he experiences as a result of Tourette Syndrome.
Photograph by: Jean Levac , Ottawa Citizen
“It was pretty good, but in the middle of it, I got kicked out,” he told KISS FM radio hosts Carter Brown and Sandra Plagakis on Friday morning.
The station had given a couple of complementary tickets for the movie premiere Thursday night to Drexhage, a regular caller who has Tourette Syndrome, and expected him to phone in with his thoughts about the movie and the night.
The yelps associated with the involuntary tics of Drexhage’s neurological disorder apparently led to complaints from other people in the packed IMAX auditorium at the SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas, however, and he and his mother, who was with him, said a security guard asked them to leave about halfway through the movie.
They were reimbursed for the tickets (even though they cost nothing to begin with) and given a free pair, but believe the theatre and people who made the complaints could have dealt with the situation differently.
“It’s just mind-boggling to me that people would ask me to leave because of my Tourette’s,” said Drexhage, 22, during an interview later on Friday.
Pat Marshall, a spokesperson for Cineplex, which operates the theatre, said that “a number of complaints” had been received about someone being noisy and disruptive in the sold-out auditorium.
“If this was not a situation that was disrupting the broader guests, we would not have addressed it,” Marshall said.
“It’s a difficult situation for everyone. I know that that was probably a really exciting opportunity for Louis and that didn’t end the way he would have liked and certainly the way we would have liked.”
Drexhage’s mother, Guylaine Ouimette, argued that his outbursts weren’t too noisy, especially in a loud theatre, and said she didn’t know who would have complained.
“It’s not as bad as someone who’s coughing hard, and it doesn’t last. It didn’t last,” she said.
They were sitting near the front of the theatre, Ouimette said. Drexhage yelped two or three times before the movie started, she said, and during the movie, had a couple of “very low yelps, in my point of view.”
“When you have a movie playing full blast with all of the images — people around didn’t turn their heads. ... It was not that strong, because when it’s too strong, we go away,” she said.
A security guard motioned to Ouimette and explained outside the auditorium that there had been “many” complaints and that they’d have to leave if it happened again, she said.
They went back inside, and the guard stood nearby, she said. Drexhage said he got nervous and made more noise before they were shown the door.
“If it wasn’t the opening night and it wasn’t a sold-out environment with reserved seats, we would normally try to just relocate them to see if there was another space that would be easier for them, but given that was the case, we couldn’t do so,” said Marshall, adding that she hoped to speak directly to Drexhage to address his concerns.
Drexhage, who lives in Aylmer and works as a janitor, said he goes to theatres a couple of times each month, usually during the daytime, when it’s less busy.
He was once kicked out of a mall for making noise, but it has never happened at the movies, he said. People in theatres have asked him to be quiet before, Drexhage said, but they’re usually understanding after he explains that he has Tourette’s.
“People before going to complain should ask what’s going on,” he said.
Drexhage said he thought it “would be cool to be a critic” when the radio station gave him a chance.
He began calling the station a couple of years ago, said Brown, the radio host.
Drexhage seemed nervous at first, but slowly gained confidence and “was just sort of a good guy to talk to on the air” about everything from hockey to his experiences and challenges with Tourette Syndrome, Brown said.
“We thought it’s time to send him to a movie to really show he’s overcome his fear of being around (the) public” and to give a “layman’s review” of the movie, said Brown. Though Brown thought it possible that Drexhage’s tics might emerge during the movie, he didn’t expect he’d be told to leave, he said.
“We found out live on the air this morning when he was calling in to report on the movie and it was shocking for us and for our listeners, too,” Brown said Friday afternoon.
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