AMC Theaters and the Autism Society Team Up To Offer “Sensory Friendly Films”

Even though my son is almost 4, his first trip to the big movie theater was just last month. He had seen previews of How To Train A Dragon on TV and convinced me that he couldn’t live without seeing it.

Reluctantly, my sister and I set a date and took him to the big theater by our house to see the movie. Everything was going well until the previews – there were 7 of them. By the time the movie started he wanted to go home. He said it was too loud, the theater was too dark, the chair kept closing shut on his tiny body and the 3d glasses provided were WAY too big. I was frustrated! For the money we had paid, it all seemed like a waste.

AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families like us who are affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program. They have put together an environment similar to the one for stroller moms.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

I love this! I REALLY love this. The changes they have made address almost all of the issues we had with our visit to the theater. Also offering an environment like this could reduce parents’ stress and give them an opportunity to meet other families like theirs in the community.

Now If I could only find a list of theaters offering this in Canada, we’d be all set!

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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