American Cinema Chain Adds Children’s Playground Inside Theatres

Coloured Bar

An American cinema chain has taken the unusual step of adding children’s playground inside some of their theatres. Cinépolis announced the opening of new auditoriums with playgrounds for children.  This introduction of a children’s playground into Cinepolis theatres in America follows a successful installation of the same in Mexico, which started in Cinepolis Sala Junior. The popular concept was later employed in Spain, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

The playgrounds feature a play structure that is 55 foot long and 25 foot high. The southern California cinemas Cinepolis Vista and Cinepolis Riveria have enjoyed the debut of the structure around a month ago. Colourful slides, bean bags, tire climbers and lounge chairs are all incorporated into this space.

Opinion is split, with many social media users describing the idea negatively, and suggesting it would be better not to take children to the cinema if they can’t sit and watch the film. It’s not all bad though, with others suggesting it is a great idea to provide a provision to entertain your child as you prepare to enjoy your anticipated film. Children from 3 to 12 years of age are allowed to roam about enjoying the soft plays some minutes prior to the start of the film.

The play activities of the kids are supervised by parents making the playground safe for your children. This happens for 20 minutes before a Cinepolis cartoon character requests people get seated. It is required of any parent to the auditorium to be in the company of a child under the age of 12.

Safety is emphasised in the playground, not just through parents’ supervision, but also the design of the play structure, with all equipment complied in line with the State of California regulations for indoor playgrounds. Safety measures are in place, with height restrictions allowing only children with a minimum height of 3 feet and maximum of 5 feet tall. No shoes, food or drinks are allowed in or around the playground. Only one child is allowed on the slide at any one time. All familiar soft play rules ideal for the safety of your children.

The intention is that the activities the children undertake on the playground will make them tired, allowing them to then sit back and enjoy the film, or to take a nap while you enjoy it! Despite the limited play time of 20 minutes, the incorporation of the playground into American Cinepolis theatres is a creative idea that has seen success elsewhere.

The child-friendly features don’t stop there, with colouring sheets and crayons available for children to play with, as well as a tailored kid’s food menu on offer.  An introductory cost of $1 on top of regular Cinepolis costs makes the activity affordable for parents.

According to Adrian Mijares Elizondo, the USA CEO of Cinepolis, the goal of the American Cinepolis theatres is to assist their guests in falling in love with movies while catering to all the needs involved with taking care of children.

It remains to be seen whether the cinema playground phenomenon will arrive in the UK, but we’ll certainly be keeping our eye out the next time we go to the movies!