Sean and I are big film lovers. Before having children we would go to the cinema at least once a week and it’s pretty much the only thing I really miss since becoming a parent. I’ve been toying with the idea of taking Florence to the cinema for a little while now. She loves Disney Films and is becoming more and more able and willing to sit and watch an entire feature and I have always seen going to the pictures as a great family activity – especially on a rainy day.
This weekend Florence and I were invited to Showcase Cinema in Bluewater to watch an exclusive preview of the new PAW Patrol movie – PAW Patrol Mighty Pups. I’ll be honest I was a bit apprehensive about taking a not even two year old to the cinema and wondered whether we’d have to leave mid way through the film — let’s face it, toddlers don’t always have the greatest attention span do they? However from the moment we arrived in the foyer of Showcase Cinema De Lux, we were so well looked after and I was immediately reassured by the calm yet excited buzz of the place that this was a venue more than equipped for young children. Once checked in, we were invited to meet the Pups and have our photo taken with them, however sadly Florence was terrified of the characters up close and so we stood aside the queue for a while as we waited for the next activity. The gentleman who I suspect was the manager of the cinema was so very kind and walked us through to the lounge which was full of PAW Patrol balloon characters. Florence chose a seat nearest to a Chase balloon and she was much happier to get acquainted with one of her favourite characters in balloon form.
Laid out on the tables were lots of activity sheets for the children to colour and complete while they waited for the screen to be ready. These were great! Despite being too young to complete some of the puzzles, Florence loves to colour and it was the perfect distraction from waiting around for the film to start.
We chatted and relaxed in comfort at a table for four and were joined by another family with a young boy. The X Plus lounge itself is spacious and, in my opinion, a brilliantly designed space for families in particular to wait and enjoy a little prefilm natter away from the main and very busy foyer. I’d happily arrive early for my film showing just to go and chill in there for a little while, or even stop in there on the way out to digest and chat about the film we’d just watched.
When it was time to go and watch the film I had wondered what we might have to do with the pram, however as soon as I walked in I realised I needn’t have worried. At the front of the auditorium, if you didn’t want to leave it to one side, there are three or four rows of seating which have more than enough room in between for a pram or wheelchair to sit without obstructing anyone’s view or the walkway which I think is a brilliant feature and probably the thing that impressed me the most about the venue. I could easily have taken William in his pram and sat him next to / in front of me without having to worry! The soft leather, recling seats were more than luxurious and created a really nice home from home feel which is ideal for a little one’s first cinema visit, not to mention achieving ultimate movie viewing goals for us. The relaxed setting immediately put Florence at ease and she made herself at home ready to watch the ‘Big Tetty’ as she called it.
PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups was played on one of Showcase Cinema’s state of the art XPlus screens reaching from wall to wall and equipped with Dolby Atmos Sound for a completely immersive cinema experience. The film was great too, telling the story of Ryder and the PAW Patrol team saving Adventure Bay from Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger and his nephew Harold’s naugty plots! This time though they were equipped with special super powers thanks to the Cosmic Space Rock which had fallen to earth, and end having to rescue Ryder when Humdinger & Harold’s plan to use their own powers from the rock for their own personal gain throws the safety of Adventure Bay into question. Florence thoroughly enjoyed the film and was glued to the screen for the most part. For those brief moments that she got distracted we pulled out the activity sheets from earlier in the day and had a quick colouring session or snuggled up on the more-than-big-enough for-Mummy-and-Florence seats! The film has it’s official premiere taking palce today and will be on a screen near you from next Friday, 17th May. If you have a toddler of Florence’s age, I’d thoroughly recommend a visit to one of the 21 Showcase Cinemas in the UK to watch PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups as the whole experience and film were just a perfect introduction to cinema for little ones.
General admission tickets at Bluewater’s Showcase Cinema De Lux are actually fairly reasonable considering the whole experience and the facilities on offer with adult tickets coming in at £9.35 and child tickets at £8.60.
We’re going to be heading back to Bluewater in a couple of weeks time to watch The Secret Life of Pets as one of Florence’s birthday treats and really cannot wait to go back!
JUST SO YOU KNOW…
This cinema trip was kindly gifted to us by Showcase Cinemas & Nickelodeon in return for promotion of the cinema experience & PAW Patrol:Mighty Pups. All words and opinions are my own.