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.’
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.’