SoCal Movie Theaters That Allow Children to Play on Jungle Gym Near Parents’ Seats to Debut Next Week

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Construction workers finish a play structure inside the children's auditorium at Cinepolis USA's Pico Rivera multiplex. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

It’s hard for young children to sit still for two hours, and that can turn a trip to the movies into an ordeal for parents. So what if the solution were to let the kids play at the cinema?

Mexico-based movie theater chain Cinepolis is betting it can lure more families back to the multiplex with its new in-theater playground concept, Cinepolis Junior, which makes its U.S. debut at two Southern California locations next week. The remodeled auditoriums at Cinepolis USA’s Pico Rivera and Vista theaters each feature a colorful play area near the screen in front of the seats, a jungle gym, and cushy beanbag chairs.

Cinepolis, the world’s fourth-largest cinema operator, hopes the new kid-oriented theaters — which charge up to $3 more than a regular ticket — will help it better compete with Netflix and other at-home options by enticing more parents and children to go to the theater. Designed for ages 3 to 12, the two children’s auditoriums open March 16 to screen Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake.

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

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com. 

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