Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Vue joins Autism Friendly Films initiative

vueVue Cinemas will join the Autism Friendly Films initiative in June, the chain and service provider Dimensions have announced.

Autism friendly screenings will start in Vue cinemas on June 30, with subsequent monthly screenings happening on the last Sunday of each month. These screenings will be available at 78 Vue cinemas nationwide.

Vue is the third cinema chain to join the initiative, following ODEON and Cineworld, making it the biggest scheme to specifically offer nationwide Autism Friendly Film showings. In autism friendly showings, adjustments are made to the experience, including eliminating adverts, lighting left on low and sound turned down.

Since Dimensions launched the initiative with ODEON in August 2011, more than 38,000 visits have been made to Autism Friendly Film Screenings, which are currently offered in more than 90 ODEON cinemas and 21 Cineworld cinemas once a month.

Lisa Hopkins, executive director of practice development at Dimensions, said: “We are really pleased to be partnering with all three cinema chains to extend this important and successful project even further. The fact that the screenings have been so well received and continue to gain support from national cinema chains shows that there was a need to introduce such environments.

“People who can sometimes be excluded from the traditional cinema experience, because they may find the sensory experience too difficult to manage, are now able to watch a wider variety of films, more frequently, in an environment conducive with their needs. These opportunities are important stepping stones towards full inclusion in mainstream cinemas.”

A spokesperson for Vue added: “At Vue Cinemas we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best cinematic experience possible. We are delighted to be part of this project as the autism friendly screenings will mean those who were previously unable to attend, can now witness films on the big screen, receiving the ultimate viewing experience specifically tailored to their needs.”

Dee Davison, senior policy executive from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, said: “We are delighted that Dimensions is working with some of the UK’s largest cinema chains to support autism friendly screenings in cinemas.

“We strongly believe that the big screen is the best place to watch a film, and everyone should be able to enjoy that experience. By running autism friendly screenings cinemas they are able to provide more comfortable environments for those who find the traditional cinema setting not suitable for them.”

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