Photo: AP

Movie theaters are struggling to compete with incredibly convenient streaming services and affordable home theater systems. Various new gimmicks have been brought in to spice up the experience like 3D, luxury seating, and rumble chairs. But no desperate innovation has been as soul-destroying as this:

That’s right folks. A full on playground right there, just waiting for the little monsters to climb on and scream and fall and cry.

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The Los Angeles Times reports that the movie theater chain Cinepolis will open two of these hell holes in southern California next week. From the report:

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.

Let me just say that I am not a parent. Some of you out there might think this is a great idea. I respect your determination to procreate and put up with all the crap that kids do. But I am a serious movie theater lover and even a visit to a corporate megaplex verges on a holy experience for me. This playground is blasphemy.

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Cinepolis sunk $500k into each theater in order to create these abominations. The lights will be on so the kids can see what they’re doing and they’ll only be showing films for children. Now, there are some great kids movies out there these days but wouldn’t it make sense to show something the parents actually want to see, considering that they’ll be the only ones paying attention? Choose some flicks that are relatively non-violent/non-sexually explicit and give the parents headphones. They’ll at least get something out of it. As it is, Cinepolis is asking parents to pay an extra three dollars on top of the already expensive movie tickets just so their kid can experience a jungle gym that would be free at the local park.

Does this effect me directly? Not immediately. If parents want to throw their money away to enter a chamber of horror, so be it. But I do have to live in society and these children who never learned to sit down, shut up and pay attention will be walking around making my life miserable one day. California residents, please take a stand. Don’t support this. The children are our future.

[Los Angeles Times]