Movie theatres can be an overstimulating experience for just about anyone. There’s the larger-than-life action, the permeating smell of buttery popcorn and the volume cranked up to a ridiculous level. But for a child who has sensory processing disorder—or who is sensory-sensitive for other reasons—it can be such an overwhelming experience that parents may choose to avoid it completely.
That’s why, a couple of times a month, some movie theatres are turning up the lights, turning down the sound and letting kids get up and move around as needed.
AMC Theatres partnered with the Autism Society to present its Sensory Friendly Films program, which features a family-friendly movie on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, and a film for mature audiences on Wednesday evenings. Next up this Saturday is Sonic the Hedgehog at nearly 200 participating locations.
Similarly, Regal Cinemas’ My Way Matinee program is a “safe space where our guests are free to express themselves by singing, crying, dancing, walking around, talking or shouting while enjoying Hollywood’s latest films,” according to its website. Showtime is 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at participating locations and at a discounted price.
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