Community rallies together after young girl was kicked out of a movie theater for dancing and singing

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:38 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Vanessa Cain and her four-year-old daughter Dani were excited to watch the new Little Mermaid movie at the Cinemark in the Meadowbrook Mall.

Unfortunately, the outing did not turn out as planned, and they were asked to leave the theater during the movie.

“I turned, and here came a worker, and he bent down, and I said we need to leave don’t we. He said, well we’ve got some complaints,” Cain said.

Dani was just diagnosed with Autism in May. Cain purposely chose the handicap seats as she had only taken Dani to the movies a couple times and wasn’t sure how she may react.

Dani was dancing and singing to her favorite songs during the movie. A woman behind Cain and Dani even took her hands and sang with her.

Shortly after was when they had to leave. While Cain was refunded for the tickets, she said that wasn’t the point.

“How can you look at any child and see them dancing and happy and life and not smile?” Cain asked.

She explained that it is Disney movies that finally broke Dani out of her shell.

“Dani is nonverbal, and there for a long time she didn’t even make any type of sound. The Disney movies have really brought that out in her. You know I have a video where she is standing in the mirror, and she is working and trying to make her words to sing ‘Poor Unfortunate Soul,’ and she can get soul out,” Cain said.

After this happened, Cain shared her frustrations on Facebook, and the post went viral locally.

“So I’m new to the whole world of it. Seeing all these moms on here tell me how you know, they even got kicked out of a movie theater, or they don’t even take their children to the movies because of this fear. It shouldn’t be like that,” she asked.

Thanks to some members of the community, Dani will get to watch The Little Mermaid on June 17 at Tygart Valley Cinemas at 10 a.m.

Cain added that the people who are helping make this happen are working to invite other people with disabilities to enjoy the movie with Dani.

She hoped people would learn to accept others no matter how different they may be.

5 News reached out to the Cinemark at the Meadowbrook Mall for comment, and we were told to call back Thursday to speak with the General Manager.