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updated 7/28/2006 7:48:19 PM ET 2006-07-28T23:48:19

Scroll through area movie listings and the "SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" and "The Incredibles" are among movies offered in Philadelphia theaters after 7 p.m.

But bringing a child under 6 to those PG-rated movies could result in a fine to the adult and the theater, if a proposed bill is passed by City Council.

The bill, introduced by City Councilman James Kenney seeks to ban adults from bringing children under 6 to a movie after 7 p.m. unless it is G-rated.

"This is a concern [Kenney] has had for years. It's legislation he thinks is appropriate -- it's not out of line with other legislation we do to facilitate the quality of life for residents of the city," said John Hawkins, a spokesman from Kenney's office.

An adult who brings a child to a movie with a rating other than G after p.m. would be fined up to $50; the theater would be fined up to $300.

"I think anybody who went to see 'Spiderman' at 9 at night and had a screaming baby next to them can appreciate why this bill should be looked at," Hawkins said.

Councilman Rick Mariano, who co-sponsored the bill along with Councilman Frank DiCicco, agreed.

"I think it's a common sense idea that should've been coming a long time ago, especially when it's a [PG] movie," Mariano said.

But the decision is one some theater chains argue should be left up to parents.

"From our point of view we have not experienced any problems or issues in regards to young children being in our theaters after 7 p.m.," Dick Westerling, vice president of marketing for Regal Entertainment, said.

Regal, which operates 6,242 screens in 560 locations in 40 states, has enlisted the aid of the National Association of Theatre Owners. Regal, whose theaters include Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres, runs about 18 percent of all indoor screens in the nation.

"Many times families might attend a PG film, such as 'Shrek 2' or 'The Incredibles' in the evening. I would consider it a healthy and wholesome family experience," Westerling said.

© 2007 Philadelphia Business Journal

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