The wife of a Rockville City Council member has asked city legislators to bar a local movie theater from showing movies rated R and X.
Terry Sullivan, wife of Kenneth Sullivan and the mother of two children, told the council this week she was "horrified" to find out that the only movies showing in a downtown movie theater were inappropriate for viewing by her 13-year-old daughter.
Sullivan said she was forced to forbid her daughter Jeannie from having lunch with a friend last weekend at the Commons at Courthouse Square and seeing a movie after learning that the Rockville Mall twin theaters were showing films for adults only.
"I don't even want my daughter going into the shopping center if they're showing these type of movies," she said. "We're spending all this time and money to improve our town center and we don't create a wholesome atmosphere for it."
Mayor William E. Hanna Jr. told Sullivan he "shared her concern." He said the council faced a similar problem at the theater two years ago but thought it had been resolved.
Although the city has no authority over what is shown at the theater, Hanna said, "If there is any way to use our power to stop showing of X and R-rated movies, we will. I'm not interested in Rockville having that kind of reputation. I don't what to attract people to the mall because of X movies and I'm worried about the young children who although prohibited by age from viewing an X-rated movie often are admitted anyway."
Assistant City Manager Daniel Hobbs said the city sent a delegation of civic leaders to the theater two years ago to discuss the problem with the manager. He said that after the meeting the theaters usually featured an adult movie shown simultaneously with one appropriate for children.
At present, Hobbs said, "The showing of X-rated movies is creating an atmosphere that is not reflective of the community ethic. It is certainly not indicative of the entertainment shown in town center." He called it "reasonable" to discourage theaters from showing X-rated movies. "It's not what we're trying to achieve here."
The theater manager could not be reached for comment.