Flying down a long tunnel slide into the cinema was the highlight of the night for our seven-year-old at the Vjunior launch event at Village Cinema Fountain Gate.
Child after child shot out of the tunnel with some speed, landing on the mat below, before roaring with laughter and heading back for another go.
Just the second Vjunior cinema in Australia, this new Vjunior Experience has opened just in time for the winter school holidays.
With the rain bucketing down outside, the guests arrived at the Village Cinema in Narre Warren in Melbourne’s outer south-eastern suburbs and gathered in the dedicated play area in the foyer.
On arrival the kids sampled snack boxes of mini hot dogs, pizza and party pies with some healthy carrot sticks thrown in for good measure.
Playtime starts 30 minutes before the movie and first up was an innovative colouring-in station where young artists could get creative. On completion their artworks appeared on the large digital interactive screen where it continuously floated across the landscape.
The boys were lining up to test their speed on several Hot Wheels tracks while the girls donned pink trench coats and jumped into the Barbie booth for some glamour shots. Little ones were not forgotten with a wall of Mega Bloks to keep them entertained.
Before long it was time to enter one of the two sparkling-new 120-seat Vjunior cinemas. Designed for children aged three to 10, Vjunior combines the power of play with the excitement of the cinema experience. Each cinema features a large slide to enjoy before the screening, and shows new release family friendly movies with modified volume and lighting levels.
With three seating styles on offer, reclined lounge seats, bean bags and standard, our kids tested out the bean bag seats in the centre of the cinema before moving to the front section. Our nine-year-old relaxed back into a recliner in the front row declaring: “This is the most comfortable seat ever!”
Seconds later she jumped up to stomp on virtual popcorn which was appearing intermittently on the interactive floor before being crushed under foot.
As ambassador of Vjunior, the Nine Network’s Lauren Phillips welcomed the crowd to the Vjunior launch event and pretty soon the lights dimmed for some racing action with Lightning McQueen trying to prove himself to a new generation of racers in Cars 3.
Unique to the Vjunior Experience (at selected sessions), the movie paused halfway through for an old-school interval and the kids were able to enjoy an ice cream, have another quick slide, and/or use the facilities.
Melbourne’s latest and greatest child-friendly entertainment destination was a hit with our two kids and the perfect way to kick off the July holidays on a cold and blustery night.
What: Vjunior Experience
When: Now open
Where: Westfield Fountain Gate, 352 Princes Hwy, Narre Warren
Also available at Westfield Southland, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham
Tickets: $19 child; $25 adult; $72 family of 3 pack (includes 3 tickets, 3 small drinks, 3 small popcorns, 3 small chocolate treats); $92.50 family of 4 pack (includes 4 tickets, 4 small drinks, 4 small popcorns, 4 small chocolate treats). Vjunior Experience eVouchers are available.
Facilities: Toilets are located in the cinema foyer.
Food and drinks: A specialised kids’ menu of hot food, milkshakes and fruit snacks is available. There’s even a coffee cart for parents.