Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter

Sensory Friendly Movies

on July 6, 2013

When someone has special needs, there are some everyday experiences that can be very difficult or uncomfortable.  Going to the movies is one of those experiences for many people on the autism spectrum.  Sundance is one of those people.  It’s too loud for him.  For many years when we tried to take him to the latest kid movie, he’d make it through about half of it and then be retreating to the lobby.

Then, we learned about Sensory Friendly showings.  Sensory Friendly means a few things are modified:  There are no or fewer previews, the sound is much lower, the lights are a little brighter and most importantly, it’s an environment that is very accepting of everyone.   Everyone there (and not everyone has special needs) knows that there are some who need to flap or stim, yell or laugh really loud, or just do what they need to do.  And, that’s ok.  No judgment.  Because of Sensory Friendly showings, my family and I can enjoy movies together for the first time.  It seems like such a little thing, but it’s not.  It means a lot to families like mine.

AMC has partnered up with The Autism Society of America to bring us these showings.  If you live in San Antonio, it’s AMC Rivercenter.  They charge $5 and validate parking. They run about every six weeks or so.  The theater is small and always full, but a good time.  If you aren’t in San Antonio, you can find your city here. 

Here in San Antonio, Santikos Theaters and Eva’s (Longoria) Heroes also puts on a Sensory Friendly showing. The first and third Tuesday of every month at 6:00. They charge regular admission prices, but it’s a regular sized theater.  They show one or two previews.  You can see what they’ll be showing at the Santikos theaters here. 

This week, my family and I went to see Monster’s University at a Santikos theater.  A good time was had by all.  It means a great deal to Lance and me, to be able to take our kids to see a movie that everyone else is enjoying too.  So, thank you, AMC and Santikos.  Thank you very much.

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Thumbs up from Sundance!

PS, if you Google “sensory friendly movies,” and your city, chances are you’ll find a theater in your city that offers Sensory Friendly.  If not, stop by the theater and ask to see the manager.  Maybe they just never thought about it.


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