Cinepolis, the fourth-largest movie-theater chain in the world, is set to introduce in-theater playgrounds to two locations when the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake opens next week. Cinepolis Junior will be open to kids at the company’s Pico Rivera and Vista theaters, complete with beanbag chairs, a slide and a play area directly in front of the screen; suffice to say such a thing would never happen at an Alamo Drafthouse.
“It’s really intended to make kids feel welcome and comfortable,” Cinepolis USA Chief Executive Adrian Mijares Elizondo told the Los Angeles 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.” Tickets to Cinepolis Junior screenings will cost $3 more than a regular screening and are intended for families with kiddos aged 3 to 12.
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Theater chains have mulled many options in recent years as a means of boosting attendance; AMC famously considered allowing texting in some theaters before public outcry caused the company to cancel those plans. Cinepolis is based in Mexico, where the child-friendly theaters were introduced three years ago. They’ve since expanded to Spain, Costa Rica and Guatemala.