Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Coming Soon: Fewer R-Rated Trailers ; R Theater Owners Promise Not to Show R-Rated Previews at G- and PG- Rated Films

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Coming Soon: Fewer R-Rated Trailers ; R Theater Owners Promise Not to Show R-Rated Previews at G- and PG- Rated Films

Article excerpt

With popcorn and drink in hand, Delores and Sandy Gross plop into empty seats for the 5 o'clock showing of "Remember The Titans" (rated PG) at the local cineplex here. Lights down, curtain open, previews: First up, "Lucky Numbers" (R-rated), starring Lisa Kudrow as "a sexy dame conveniently devoid of conscience, strong in lust, and low in emotion."

"I don't want my daughter seeing that," says Mrs. Gross of Sandy, her ninth grade daughter. "Now, I'm in a fight for the night over explaining to her why not."

Perhaps not anymore. Thanks to voluntary guidelines adopted by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) - who operate 25,000 of the nation's 37,000 movie screens - scenes like this could become scarcer. In new measures agreed on last week, member operators agreed to stop showing movie previews for R-rated films at G- and PG-rated movies.

The agreement - which was one of 11 promises, that include extra staff to keep teens out of R-rated movies - are being seen as the latest action by the entertainment industry to address government concerns about the marketing of violent films to youths.

"We feel this is a very significant item in addressing what the Federal Trade Commission recommended in tightening up the movie industry's reaching out to audiences that are inappropriate," says John Fithian, association president.

After releasing a year-long study of industry advertising practices in September, the FTC blasted Hollywood for marketing its films inappropriately to youths. In congressional hearings and after visits to Hollywood by vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, some lawmakers suggested that such a system become law, enforceable by fines up to $10,000.

"We want to do as much as we can to be responsible with a voluntary system," says Mr. Fithian.

Many in the industry welcomed the move and said it would do much to alleviate public concerns raised by the FTC report.

"This is a positive measure that tries to ensure that children will not see what they are not supposed to see," says Bethlyn Hand, who leads a team that rates trailers for the Motion Picture Association of America. …

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