Gremlin at the Vue 

Myself and Kelly had an excellent breakfast meeting this morning so I was quite chilled when I got home. Nothing better than a cup of tea without the fears of Reilly the Greek smashing your tableware, a sausage a bonus.

Shane is off today only job was to go order some flowers at Cramlington. Easy. Then we can do something with the kids. 

We got out the car at Manor Walks and Reilly ran like a whippet into the Vue cinema. I chased him Shane and Ellis went about their lad stuff.  He’s NEVER been in here before, imagine his absolute joy when this big mystery building not only had giant hotdogs, chocolate and pop on tap it also had trailers running for his fave films. 

I managed to keep him in a seat in the foyer  while he ate his giant hotdog and a full packet of milky stars but in a blink he was over the seat and into the first auditorium luckily I caught him by the hood before he got in front of the screen.  I tried to leave but all of a sudden his legs stop working and he’s starfished and squealing. I’m not stressed, I’ve seen WAYYYY worse. I pick him up plonk him in the seat and Shane and Ellis appear.   Ellis mortified by Reillys behaviour. 

The lovely girl who checks your tickets tells me about the autism friendly showing on the last Sunday of every month and would we like to let him have a look in an empty auditorium ooo how lovely and helpful yes we would love that.  Big mistake. He wouldn’t come out and Despicable Me was starting in 15 mins.   Shane offers to go buy 2 tickets and suggests I might want to try him. I know in my nervous pit of my stomach it’s a disaster but what the hell cant be that bad, right? 

Yes it bloody can! We move seats 14 times before the adverts come on.  It’s filling up and there are less seats available. All these kids excited with their gallons of pop and warm popcorn while Reilly tries to gallop along past their knees, down the stairs, star jumps in front of the screen, up the stairs, hands and knees along row G laughing the whole time. I get him back in his seat and whisper if you don’t stay in your seat we have to go home and you won’t see Gru or the minions, he doesn’t give a shit.

He’s off this time standing on the arm of an occupied seat in the back row in attempts to see where the beam of light is coming from.  I apologise for the 20th time, get him down and he’s off.  No star jumps this time just straight out of screen 6.  I get to the doors and see nothing. I run into screen 7 to the end credits of Cars 3 and no Reilly.  Head in the toilets, no. I run to the front doors incase he has actually left. No one has seen him.  Now I know he’s in one of the screens it was like deal or no deal on the numbers. I’ll have number 4 because that’s my birthday and might be lucky. Nope. I start to feel panicky at this point, the adrenaline is kicking in and my limbs are tingling. I have images of the gremlins in the projector room with film wrapped around the poor attendant.  Just as I’m about to report him missing he pops out of screen 3 without a care in the world, in fact with a swagger about him like he’s only 6 but got in to see a age 10.

Needless to say we leave. I predict that Shane and Ellis are in Nando’s. It’s Ellis’s most favourite place in the world. I walk in with Reilly and see the look of sheer terror on Ellis’s face. Pleading with me with his eyes to turn around and go somewhere else before the shenanigans starts. Free flow Fanta with no glass underneath, peri peri sauce down the sink you wash your hands in. You know the score. So I leave them and go to his fave cheap shop where he can spend ages looking at stuff I would rather not buy. We left after 30 minutes with Reilly the proud owner of a minions dressy up. How could I not, he has never shown any interest in dressing up and this makes me happy. Seeing Reilly happy makes me happy and if it means he walks around looking like Stuart for the next few weeks well so be it.


We’ve had a lovely afternoon me and my minion, drawing, jigsawing and cuddling. This mornings disaster a distant memory. The Vue refunded our tickets so who’s up for Paw Patrol last Sunday of this month? I’ll buy you a hotdog.


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Christine Stephenson

Really busy mam who runs her own charity, has 3 sons and learning about autism every day. Contact me at alphaautistic@gmail.com

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