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Autism-friendly film screenings extended to 100 cinemas


Film screenings in cinemas tailored for the sensory needs of people with autism will be available in 100 cinemas after a social care provider signed up the Cineworld chain to its “autism-friendly films” campaign.

A partnership between social care charity Dimensions and Cineworld will see 21 Cineworld cinemas in England and Scotland host autism-friendly screenings once a month.

Adjustments made in cinemas to make them autism-friendly include the lights being left on low, volume being turned down and seating being unallocated. The first film featured at Cineworld branches will be ‘Nativity 2: Danger in the manger’ (there’s a trailer above if it take’s your fancy?) featuring former Timelord David Tennant. And lots of wooly jumpers.

Cineworld is the second cinema chain to partner with Dimensions on the initiative. The Odeon group of cinemas, which runs 79 cinemas, has been signed up to the scheme since August 2011 during which time more than 21,000 people have attended the autism-friendly screenings.

From December 2nd onwards the following Cineworld cinemas will host autism-friendly screenings on the first Sunday of every month at 11am:

Aberdeen Union Square, Birmingham Broad Street, Bristol, Castleford, Chester, Chichester, Crawley, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow Parkhead and Glasgow Renfrew Street, Huntingdon, Ilford, Ipswich, Isle of Wight, Rugby, Sheffield, Solihull, St Helens, Weymouth, Wolverhampton. 

Jo Cook, who supports two people to attend the screenings, said: “It’s a fabulous idea that I hope continues for years to come.

“It’s wonderful seeing children thoroughly enjoying themselves who otherwise would not be able attend for many different reasons. We look forward to the next film showing.”

About Andy McNicoll

Andy is community editor at Community Care, with a focus on reporting on mental health. He has previously worked for titles focusing on the NHS and substance misuse sectors. You can contact him at