A few weeks ago, we discussed having playrooms in libraries where kids could do anything except what they were supposed to do in a library setting.
In the latest installment of stupidity, indoor playgrounds are now being introduced in movie theaters.
Read it again, slowly. In. Movie. Theaters.
Now apparently, the gym is not to be used while the movie is playing. Small comfort if you ask me. Reportedly, for an extra three bucks a ticket (no choice here folks, if you use the theater, you pay the playground toll), the kids will be allowed fifteen minutes before the movie starts, fifteen minutes after the movie ends, and a fifteen-minute intermission during the movie to play. My thought is: if we need to have a playground in a movie theater to start with, how good will these parents be at keeping the kids off the equipment while the movie is playing? And how much whining will there will be heard throughout the theater…”But moooomm, I WANT to go in the play area!” Oh yeah. Fun times.
I remember a time when libraries were to be used for, oh, golly, I don’t know…maybe reading? And movie theaters were to be used for…wait for it…watching movies?
I get it; the idea is aimed towards kids and to be used during kids’ movies. You won’t stick your kid on a jungle gym and watch Nightmare on Elm Street. If you are taking your child to the movies, though, isn’t it expected that seeing the movie itself is the draw? If your child can’t sit still through a one and a half hour movie geared towards his age group, maybe he doesn’t belong at a movie theater yet.
If I sound cynical and jaded, it’s because I watch over and over again as parents give up their parenting roles in exchange for an easy way out. Or, they simply don’t have the foresight to recognize that an ill-behaved young child does not belong in a five-star restaurant. The bottom line is that certain parents refuse to accept that some kids just aren’t ready for the responsibility of sitting silently through certain activities. These same parents will be on blogs crying because someone looked sternly at them for allowing their children to hang upside down from the ceiling fan at a funeral.
I, for one, would not go to any theater with a jungle gym in it, even if my kids were still young. I know this whole playground premise is oriented to kids and families and it’s not as if they’re going to be showing Deadpool or Logan or Chainsaw Massacre, but as a connoisseur of kids’ movies myself, some parents who go to see kids’ movies want to be able to oh, I don’t know, SEE the movie. Of course, I’ve always just assumed that was the entire point – to watch the movie.
As well intentioned as this playground idea seems, it won’t be long before some parent will most likely decide it’s ok for Junior to go down and play while the movie is running if for no other reason than to shut him up. Although we know how that works – it might stop the kid yelling into his mother or father’s ear but it will release him on to the rest of the movie goers.
These theaters will charge $14 a ticket to start with; now I will have children screaming throughout my overpriced movie. I repeat, you are counting on the success of this venture by balancing it on parents who need these features to begin with. If a parent can’t successfully take their child to a movie without other distractions, how will they stop them from playing while the movie is running? It will start with one bored child who is allowed to go “play quietly” and end up as some kind of twisted Lord of the Flies story.
Co-incidentally, these same theaters serve beer and mixed drinks. Which is a good thing. Because then, I can either drink my way to tolerating children throwing balls at the movie screen, or I can drink until I go join them myself.
In related news, I heard that Chuck E Cheese has announced it will be building libraries and movie theaters in all its locations. Chuck could not be reached for further comment.