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Pensioner denied access to ‘parent and baby’ screening at Kilburn’s Kiln which no parent turned up to

PUBLISHED: 11:24 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 12 December 2018

Patrizia Diemling outside the Kiln Cinema. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Patrizia Diemling outside the Kiln Cinema. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

The newly named Kiln theatre has come under fire for refusing access to a pensioner to a “parent and baby” film screening which nobody attended.

Patrizia Diemling hoped to catch the matinee screening of holocaust documentary Back to Berlin at the Kiln’s venue in Kilburn High Road on Dec 3 and was “shocked and stunned” to be turned away.

A regular film goer, the 68-year-old, who suffered a stroke six years ago and walks with a stick, was in tears when she returned to her home in Honerton Road.

She said: “If it’s the first time they’ve done this, they should have put something on their website. Staff told me nobody is allowed to come to the screening unless they have a babe in arms. They said I would make them [parents] feel uncomfortable.

“It’s dreadful. They said I could see it on Friday evening but I can’t go on my own, I’m not going to walk in the dark.”

She added that staff turned away three other people: “They should change the policy. Most people don’t want to go with mothers and babies but if you want to see a film you should be able to go.”

Neighbour Susan Raucher, said she was “incandescent with rage” when she returned to the venue with Mrs Diemling soon afterwards and discovered the cinema empty and doors locked.

She added: “The way they treated Patsy was appalling. She came to me in tears. They kept repeating to her that it was company policy but by that stage she couldn’t speak.

“They could see she was visibly distressed with a walking stick and unable to talk but did nothing to make her feel better. They could have showed her some kindness.

“I was incandescent with rage and asked to speak to someone with authority.”

She managed to sneak downstairs and saw the cinema door was locked.

“Back to Berlin is a Jewish motorbike road trip, harrowing, which mother’s with babies would go and see a film like that?”

A Kiln Theatre spokesperson said, “The parent and baby screenings are something we are trialling - our first was this Monday and they have been programmed in response to requests from parents within the local community.”

She said adult cinema screenings were for carers with babies under 12 months and “tailored to be sensitive to their needs” adding: “We are sorry that Ms Diemling found the experience on Monday difficult and upsetting – this was certainly not the intention, and we apologise unreservedly for any distress caused.”

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