An outing to the movies seems like a family friendly slam dunk until halfway through the trailers you remember that sitting still does not rank among your monkey’s greatest attributes. Cinèpolis has arrived in Pico Rivera (via Mexico!) to save the day for movie lovers young and old. Because here, the experience is entirely and explicitly made for kids who can’t sit still, and the people who love them.
There’s a Movie Jungle in the Urban Jungle
Ever wished there was a jungle gym in your movie theater, so kids can get the jiggles & wiggles out right up until the lights dim? Factoring in those previews (have these gotten both longer and louder since we became parents?), two hours is a long time to sit, let alone sit still. If only they could climb and bounce and be exactly their age. If only there was a jungle gym inside the movie theater…wait, now there is!
The Junior Theater Is Where It’s At
One for the “Things One Must See to Believe” category. Double that for the “Why Didn’t Anyone Think of This Before” category. But be careful when you get tickets; there are a total of 14 theaters at the Cinèpolis and only one of them boasts the kid-menities. So be sure to reserve tickets for the Junior Theater; that’s where the party awaits.
Bean Bags, Pillow Seats & Lounge Chairs, Oh My
So yes, there’s a jungle gym, complete with two slides and platforms and pogo sticks, and spinning things, and no, they cannot continue to climb about once the movie gets going. At that point all squirmy worms must take their seats so that everyone can actually watch the movie. (But there’s a break mid-movie to get the wiggles, and more, out. More on that later.) But another thing to note, when reserving your tickets—all seats are not created equal. There are bean bag seats, which our kid testers thought were the coolest. ($27.50 for two seats). There are also double pillow seats (also $27.50 for two), or just run of the mill movie seats which get the job done just fine ($12.75-$14.75).
There aren’t many, but they are enforced for the sake of safety and cleanliness. The slides are for 6-12 year-olds. A parent or guardian must be present (no ditching the kid flick and heading next door). Food and drinks cannot be brought inside the play area (but yes, of course, inside the movie theater!). Socks are a yes, shoes and hats are a no. And several reminder announcements are made when show time is about to commence.
Tote the Toddler, Too
There’s plenty for the under 6 set as well. A rainbow gated area at the front of the theater is filled with mini climbers and tiny slides. Ample architecture to safely get their giddiness out before the lights go.
You show us a parent, we’ll show you someone who has missed at least 10 pivotal scenes from 10 movies because, when they’ve gotta go…here, not necessary. The lights go up and the movie pauses mid-showing for a solid break, where yes they can climb, they can take care of business, and you’ll actually be able to witness a movie, start to finish. The simple pleasures.
In the Future, Everyone Will Have Fifteen Minutes of Fun
The play structure is 55 ft. long and 25 ft. high, and features slides, wobble hoppers (like immobile pogo sticks), a stand-n-spin, and hanging fun forest bags for their bouncing off the walls pleasure. Ticket holders are admitted in fifteen minutes early to get that bounce going. Like hitting the park and the movies all in one. Sans sand.
All That, and Parking Is Free
And parking is ample. Since there are about three places we can say that about in Los Angeles, this is a parental highlight. And three is being generous.
Once They Go Cinèpolis…
Perhaps the only drawback of the situation is that it raises the bar. But with the promise of showing child friendly films seven days a week, when you hit the movies, this very well might be a habit worth adopting. If you’ve got bigger siblings along for the ride, let them know that this theater also shows the latest teen faves in 4DX, which means seats shake, mist and wind hit your face and smell-o-vision comes to life. So this is truly the theater with something for everyone in the family.