‘Isn’t the point of going to the movies to watch a movie?’ Cinema goers hit back at theatre with built-in playground

A cinema in the US has announced plans to open a ‘junior’ theatre with a build-in playground.

The Cinépolis chain, which already has similar child-friendly screens in countries such as Spain and Mexico, revealed the news of their American opening on their Instagram account, saying: ‘Announcing the first ever dedicated children’s movie theater auditoriums in the U.S., #CinepolisJunior! Featuring a play structure with slides, play area with tire-climbers, unique seating like bean bags and lounge chairs, and much more, Cinépolis Junior is making its debut at Cinépolis Pico Rivera and Cinépolis Vista on March 16.’

‘It’s really intended to make kids feel welcome and comfortable,’ Cinépolis USA Chief Executive Adrian Mijares Elizondo said to the LA Times. ‘The whole idea is to make it easier for parents to take their kids to the movies and let the kids have more fun.’

If the idea is successful, Adrian says that the chain will expand the premise even further, with plans to add three to four Cinepolis Junior auditoriums a year during the next four to five years.

‘It’s very valuable for us and the market to bring kids in early and for them to have a good time,’ he explained. ‘I think that will increase the possibility of those guests becoming strong moviegoers as teenagers and adults.’

Un negocio que desde el 2014 viene operando en Centroamerica: #CinepolisJunior es un ejemplo de innovación y segmentación de servicios. Es totalmente claro su enfoque en los niños a quienes está brindando un trato especial, sin embargo está segmentando también las salas de cine tradicionales para el público adulto. 🎬 Pensar en las necesidades del consumidor y buscar alternativas para aumentar el consumo del mismo servicio: dejando las salas tradicionales para que los adultos puedan ver y escuchar sin distracciones, y como consecuencia prefieran más estas salas que las de sus competidores, tener una sala que los niños van a querer visitar no solo por la proyección sino por el entretenimiento, generar recordación de marca en los futuros consumidores y para los padres una alternativa de entretenimiento sano para sus niños. 🎥 Este ejemplo invita a pensar en más oportunidades: como hacer que los hombres quieran acompañar a las mujeres al salón de belleza? como hacer que las mujeres quieran ir a tu taller mecánico? Como un bar puede tener opciones para grupo de mujeres y grupo de hombres al mismo tiempo? Como hacer la tarea de ir al supermercado atractiva para toda la familia? Pudiera crearse un vuelo en avión especial para familias con niños? 💡 #EquipoJAPI #JAPI #Cinepolis #Cinépolis #NegocioCreativo #EmprendedoresColombianos #EmprendedoresColombia #segmentación

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However, not all cinema goers are as thrilled about the idea of encouraging play during screenings.

‘Please, please, please, please PLEASE don’t do this,’ one begged on the company’s post, whilst a second added: ‘Sorry isn’t the point of going to the movies to watch a movie. If you want to play- go to a playground. If you want to watch a movie be quiet and sit still and if your kid can’t do that- stay home’.

Responses to the LA Times article covering the new opening were similarly unenthusiastic.

‘Simple rule: If the child isn’t old enough to sit quietly and watch a movie, then they shouldn’t be brought to a theatre. The End,’ one commenter declared.

Another wrote: ‘This has got to be the most miserable movie experience ever proposed. Nothing like a massive room full of screaming kids to accompany your movie experience – maybe they will also offer headphones at each seat.’

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