Canadian cinemas commence autism-friendly movie sessions

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:02pm

One of Canada’s largest entertainment companies, Cineplex Entertainment, has announced the introduction of a movie screening program for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Interior shot of a large, empty movie theatre. Image credit: m4tik via Flickr

Developed with Autism Speaks Canada, the program commences this week at 12 Cineplex complexes and will include 2D movies, dimly-lit auditoriums (rather than lights off), lower volume and smaller audiences. Families can bring their own food into the auditorium and make use of designated ‘calm zones’ when required.

Attending the cinema for someone who registers on the autism spectrum can be a harrowing experience. For example, the loud volume of the soundtrack or lack of lighting in the auditorium can agitate and upset some individuals. The advent of autism-friendly cinema sessions is taking off around the world and Cineplex Entertainment is recognising not just the need but the opportunity to bring the joy of cinema to community members who would otherwise not attend.

Pat Marshall of Cineplex Entertainment said, “Our goal is to make movie-going accessible to as many Canadians as possible. This partnership with Autism Speaks Canada provides an opportunity to see the latest family movies in a comfortable environment.”

Further information can be found in Autism Speaks Canada’s press release.

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