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Ahead of His Time?

Cleveland independent theater owner Morrie Zryl, fed up with Motion Picture Assn. of America president Jack Valenti’s refusal to revamp the MPAA’s film rating system, has stopped advertising movies according to the MPAA guide and started using his own.

He calls the MPAA’s system outdated and “useless,” and feels that his own code “will better notify moviegoers about film content and make it easier for parents to know what is appropriate viewing for their children.”

Zryl, who has operated the venerable, 1,323-seat Colony Theatre since 1981, rates pictures by his F-L-A-V-S code: F for family films, L for “bad language,” A for adults only/mature themes, V for violence and S for sex. He’s currently showing “Die Hard 2,” rated LV.

It’s not the first time he’s ignored the MPAA. Troubled by the scary bedroom scenes in PG-rated “Poltergeist"--"a bedroom is where a child should feel safe,” he says--Zryl created his own Q-13 rating two years before the MPAA offered its PG-13 (Zryl’s Q-13 “questioned” the MPAA’s PG rating and added the 13 as an age restriction.)

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Zryl feels that parents--not theater owners--should be responsible for controlling what kids see.

“Ratings are important,” he says. “If we can inform parents, our job is done.”


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