Yeeeeessss! This cinema is building a playground right next to the screen
It's a fact well-known to mums everywhere that once you have children - your love-affair with the cinema is well and truly over.
Parent-and-baby mornings are wonderful, granted, but once your little one starts to move, they too are a thing of the past.
Which is why here at HerFamily we are oh-so excited to discover that one cinema is building a huge, big, amazing playground beside one of it screens.
Which in a nutshell means that mums and dads can enjoy the latest releases... while the kids are delightfully preoccupied with slides, climbing frames, beanbags, and toys.
At these movie theaters, kids can play on a jungle gym next to their parents' seats https://t.co/dSiubU7Qjc pic.twitter.com/JyWmSPDVXY
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 7, 2017
Sadly for Irish-based folk the cinema in question is in the Los Angeles area, but certainly this is one movement that we'll very much be getting behind.
Cinépolis, the world's fourth largest cinema operator, says it is currently in the midst of road-testing the concept for three to 12 year olds at two of its outlets in southern California.
It adds that if successful it plans to roll out the playgrounds in more locations over the next four or five years.
“It's really intended to make kids feel welcome and comfortable,” said Cinepolis USA Chief Executive Adrian Mijares Elizondo said in conversation with 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.”
Families will be allowed into the theatre early so that small, energetic ones can get to grips with the playground - and they'll also be allowed to stay for 15 minutes after the film has ended.
The refits alone cost around $500,000 but Cinepolis is confident that this is something that parents really want (hear, hear!).
What we were somewhat amused by is the outcry from movie-snobs in the aftermath (we're guessing they're not parents).
Indeed, critics have been taking to Twitter in their drones to complain that the move is a crime against the movie industry.
Cinema chain horrifies by building playgrounds in theaters https://t.co/05zBEL8T8A pic.twitter.com/Q8QxA95AyE
— James Hibberd (@JamesHibberd) March 7, 2017
"Easily one of the Top 10 worst ideas I have ever seen," moaned one individual. "The ninth circle of Hell," said another. Meanwhile, a third uttered that the move was "the death of the cinema experience".
Still, there is no doubt that kid-friendly theatres are hugely important these days. With studios struggling to boost profits in light of the popularity of the likes of Netflix, family-focused movies remain a sure-thing.
Recent releases including Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, The Jungle Book, Zootopia, and Sing have gone on to huge success.