Many people with disabilities have sensory issues. Your child may be sensitive to noises, sights, textures, or crowds.
Often, seeing a movie in the theater isn’t an option for people with sensory difficulties, young or old. The flashing lights, loud sound system, vibrating speakers and the dark theater - all of these things lead to meltdowns. Excitement results in inappropriate behaviors or the desire to leave immediately. Crowds may cause anxiety. Flashing lights in a dark room may cause seizures or headaches. It is just too difficult.
But theaters now offer an alternative. Some theaters have Sensory Friendly Cinema. This program offers movies with a gentler sensory experience. The sound is not so loud. The theater lights stay on. These showings are offered for people with autism or other sensory issues. Many times the movie is free of charge or discounted.
Families who have never been able to go to the movies love it. Kids with challenging behaviors have successfully enjoyed the theater. Families all over the country are watching movies for the first time. These family friendly movies are making family memories.
The Alamo Drafthouse is one local theater that offers sensory friendly movies. Check their website. Movie dates and times are listed.
AMC theaters also offer movies for families. Although not available in Laredo, they do offer movies in other Texas cities. So if you travel or are visiting friends or family where one is located, take a moment to check them out. They show movies several times a month. AMC offers friendly movies on the second and fourth Tuesday evening. They also offer friendly movies on the second and fourth Saturday morning. Dancing, singing, and moving around are all acceptable during these special showings. Check the website.
Try out a sensory friendly showing. For once, you don’t need to fear. The showings are especially for families like yours. Your child might fall in love with going to the movies.
As theaters see others being successful at helping the community, other theaters will add similar services. Be sure to give feedback to the theater when your family enjoys it. Feedback helps businesses know when they are doing a good thing.
Be sure to check out our Find Services, Groups and Events page for even more resources.
From the moment Camila was born, I knew she would change my world. But it was not until third grade when she made the comment “I don’t want to live anymore” that I realized things were not right.