As fun as it is to go to the movie theater to catch the latest big screen story you've been looking forward to, the experience isn't without its issues. Concessions are expensive, seating is tricky, arguably too many trailers are shown and sometimes there are inconsiderate people who use their phone or even talk during the feature presentation. However, those problems are a cakewalk compared to what one theater chain has in store. They're going to build a legitimate playground within some of its theaters, and as you would guess, that plan is already being widely criticized. Take a look at the construction already underway.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Mexico-based theater chain Cinepolis is installing playgrounds into two of its Southern California theaters, and they will open next week in time for Beauty and the Beast, a blockbuster which can be enjoyed by young and older viewers alike. These theaters will cater to children ages 3 to 12, and along with the playground seen above that stretches around the auditorium, there will also be a play area set up in front of the screen and bean bag chairs. EW is also reporting that these theaters will sell "elevated snack favorites," like Cheeto, chili and caramel popcorn flavors.
Each theater costs approximately $500,000 to retrofit, and seeing a movie in that theater will cost $3 more than a regular ticket. These child-friendly theaters, known as Cinepolis Junior, were introduced in Mexico in 2014, and have since expanded to theaters in Spain, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Cinepolis USA Chief Executive Adrian Mijares Elizondo said that these theaters are intended to make kids "more comfortable and welcome," as they can have more fun while their parents watch the movie.
If ever there was a need for an audible sigh, it's now. Need I state the obvious? A theater is not the venue for children to be playing around, let alone on a jungle gym! If your kid can't sit still for that long, then they need to work off that excess energy at an actual playground and limit their movie-watching time to at home until they're well-behaved enough to calmly watch a 90-120 minute feature. I would also say this endeavor would lose money with all the dissatisfied customers, but parents know what they're walking into when they enter such a hellscape.
By the way, I'm not the only person who feels this way. Here are some of the reactions online about Cinepolis' playground theaters.
Then there's the unfortunate fact that we have to specify what kind of movie theaters we're talking about now.
And then there's the question of whether the folks behind this idea are taking pleasure in our pain.
Yeah, clearly this isn't a popular idea, but maybe you feel differently! Chime in with your thoughts about this playground movie theater in the comments below.