In a recent IndieWire post, Michael Nordine writes about Cinepolis, a large movie-theater chain, and its plans to incorporate playgrounds in two of its theaters for the release of the live action Disney Beauty and the Beast re-make.  Originally when reading the post, I was envisioning an exterior or lobby-type setup, like many McDonalds and similar restaurants used to have (or still have), but in reality it’s much more fascinating than that.  Here’s an image of one of the setups:

It’s a remarkably new idea–and something I wouldn’t have even considered.  The “Cinepolis Junior” setup includes a slide, beangab chairs, a playpen, climbable structures, and more.  Cinepolis has stated they hope that  “parents feel at ease and kids feel right in their element as they watch their new favorite film.” “parents feel at ease and kids feel right in their element as they watch their new favorite film.”

There will also be added kid-inspired snacks added to the concession lineups.

I’m very interested to see where this goes.  It’s not something I think will work, because films are designed to be paid attention to, and as an adult I’m distracted by this.  Although, if the idea is for kids to be free to run around, not playing attention to the film, while their parents do, it could work–although I suspect hearing the film would be an issue, unless headphones were incorporated.  Still, it’s a fascinating approach for a theater to try, regardless of how dubious I am of the success of the results.

If nothing else, I’m sure the endeavor has gained Cinepolis much news coverage, which may well be more than enough to cover losses suffered by these new Cinepolis Junior theater rooms, should they fail like I expect.  Going into the very daunting process of working on an original self-made feature for the first time, I find myself increasingly interested by marketing in all its many forms, so I’m glad this article reminded me of the power of spectacle, sometimes regardless of end-game success of a marketing technique.