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Cinema Chain Builds Jungle Gyms in Theaters

Variety logo Variety 3/7/2017 Dani Levy

Parents who’ve had to deal with energetic and rambunctious kids inside a movie theater will suffer no longer. At least, that’s one intended effect of Cinepolis USA’s newly announced movie theater spaces for children, Cinepolis Junior.

The theater chain, based in Mexico, announced plans for the new family theater experience on Tuesday. Launching March 16, the theaters will include a dedicated colorful area with play structures, bean bag-like seating, lounge chairs and a fenced-off play pen for little ones to romp around.

As many theaters are moving to reduce disruptions during film showings, the Cinepolis Junior spaces allow for children to move around and play. Cinepolis hopes that “parents feel at ease and kids feel right in their element as they watch their new favorite film.”

“As the Entertainment Industry continues to evolve, we are pleased to be a pioneer and continue our innovation in the exhibitor space with our newest theater concept,” said CEO of Cinépolis USA, Adrian Mijares Elizondo.

The first two theaters to showcase the new design are Los Angeles’ Cinepolis Pico Rivera and San Diego-based Cinepolis Vista, each with around 133-seat capacities. Tickets include a $3 surcharge added to the typical Cinepolis price, according to the L.A. Times. Children-friendly films will be screened five days a week, and parents have the option of purchasing kid-favorite snacks introduced to the kitchen and expanded concession stand, including popcorn flavors like Cheetos, Chili, Caramel and Zebra.

Both theaters will contain a 55-foot-long and 25-foot-high play structure with two slides, platforms with playground equipment, and hanging “fun forest bags” filled with foam. Kids can play on “wobble hoppers,” similar to stationary pogo sticks, and “stand n’spin” miniature merry-go-rounds.

A play pen, enclosed by a plastic fence, features green turf, a tire climber and climbable molded plastic animal sculptures.

View more photos of Cinepolis Junior-styled theaters below. The U.S. models will vary in color and style:

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