North Texas kids and their parents can now feel a little more relaxed watching movies together. With animated films like Zootopia and Finding Dory hauling in more than $1 billion each at box offices worldwide, Plano-based Cinemark has rolled out the beanbags for younger viewers.
Its new kid-friendly concept, Camp Cinemark, features colorful seating options such as oversized cushioned chairs, soft-covered chaise lounges and high-back rockers, and floor-style beanbags.
The first Camp Cinemark opened in November at the Cinemark Allen 16 and XD theater at 921 State Highway 121 in Allen.
The location “has always been one of our top-attended theaters for family movies,” says Bryan Jeffries, vice president of marketing. “Combine that fact with the recent addition of electric recliners in every auditorium, and we took advantage of that remodel time to add this new feature to the theater.”
Jeffries says Cinemark is always on the lookout for ways to enhance the moviegoing experience. Some of its theater offer day care for kids while the parents watch a movie. Camp Cinemark may be a good next step, he says, because it gives kids a chance to play before enjoying a moviegoing experience with their parents.
“Parents can actually sit at the back of auditorium and ask their children if they want to go down front and sit on a bean bag,” he says. “It’s that kind of freedom for the kids. But it’s not wide open, kids running everywhere. We still want parents to watch their kids and kids to watch the movie.”
An area outside the auditorium has an interactive coloring wall, tables and a mock cave for the kids to crawl in and out of, Jeffries says, while the inside of the auditorium has traditional movie seats along with chaise lounges and beanbag chairs made of spill-friendly materials.
“The kid-friendly push reflects the increasing importance of the family audience as Hollywood studios spend heavily on animated films,” according to a Cinemark press release.
And while the camp concept appears a little less stuffy than standard theater seating, there are still a few rules for campers.
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“No running, horseplay, wandering around, jumping, standing on seats, or other monkey business while the movie is playing at Camp Cinemark,” the theater’s website says. “All campers need to stay on the straight and narrow!”
Camp Cinemark seats about 100 viewers, Jeffries says, but for those who prefer the traditional movie experience, the same family friendly film will, in most cases, be screening in one of the location’s other 15 auditoriums. The response to Camp Cinemark has been amazing, he says, with the kids enjoying the interactive wall and the beanbag chairs.
“We still expect kids to watch the movie,” he says. “But we’re just making that experience a little more fun. The parents really enjoy taking their kids to a theater that is a little more tolerant of kids being kids.”