Mother and Baby

Autism friendly cinemas in the UK

Section: Days out
Autism friendly cinemas

If you've got a child that experiences autism or sensory sensitivity, a trip to the cinema may be something you've avoided. But that doesn't need to be the case. Many cinemas offer autism-friendly screenings so that you and your youngster can sit back and enjoy a film together in a setting that won't aggravate them. 

What makes a cinema Autism friendly?

According to Dimensions (a not-for-profit organisation providing support services for people with learning disabilities), adjustments that cinemas can make to help autistic guests really enjoy their cinema experience includes:

  • Lights left on low
  • Sound turned down
  • No adverts or trailers
  • Staff trained in autism understanding
  • Disabled access
  • Chill out zone, where available
  • Bring your own food and drink
  • Free entry for carers with a valid CEA Card, or other concessions made available

Autism-friendly cinemas

ODEON

The first cinema chain to partner with Dimensions to offer nationwide autism-friendly screenings, once a month on a Sunday morning, ODEON host an autism-friendly screening at over 90 cinemas across the UK and ROI. 

At these screenings ODEON:

  • Keep the house lights on throughout the film
  • Lower the audio volume
  • Remove the advertisements and trailers before the film
  • Open the cinema doors early so guests have time to get used to the surroundings

To find out about autism-friendly screenings at your local cinema, simply select the 'Autism friendly' filter when looking for films and showtimes at your cinema.

Showcase Cinema

On the second Sunday of every month, Showcase Cinema run sensory-sensitive screenings.

At these screenings Showcase:

  • Have soft lighting in the auditorium
  • Show only 2D films
  • Lower the audio volume
  • Have no trailers
  • Allow viewers to bring their own food and drink and move around the auditorium. 

Cineworld

Hosting autism friendly cinema screenings since 2012, Cineworld put on sensory-friendly films at over 100 cinemas once a month.

At these screenings Cineworld:

  • Keep the lights on at a low level
  • Have the sound turned down
  • Show no trailers or advertisements - just the film.

Vue

Vue holds sensory-friendly screenings on the last Sunday of every month at all their cinemas except West End. 

At these screenings Vue:

  • Have the sound reduced
  • Dim the lights
  • Show no adverts or trailers
  • Allow guests to move around and make noise

Picturehouse 

Taking place once a month on a Sunday, Picturehouse's tickets are charged at a reduced rate, starting from £3.00 per person.

At these screenings Picturehouse:

  • Show no trailers or advertisements
  • Lights are left on low throughout the film
  • Have reduced volume
  • Freedom to move around, make noise and sit where you like
  • Guests are welcome to take a break and leave the screen whenever they need to

Everyman

Known as 'relaxed screenings', Everyman creates a relaxed and welcoming environment especially for people on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivity, learning disabilities and/or additional needs and their families, friends and carers.

At these screenings Everyman:

  • Have no trailers or advertisements
  • Lights are left on low throughout the film
  • Reduced Volume
  • Guests have the freedom to move around and make noise

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  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 

 

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