Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy VALUE Day! AMC Movie Theaters

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Happy VALUE Day! to AMC Movie Theater for dedicating show times for to address the viewing needs of moviegoers with sensory issues.  AMC Sensory Friendly Films alter the viewing experience for patrons with lighting, visual, sound, auditory and timing concerns.  

Two years ago, a Maryland mother and daughter were asked to leave a theater after her daughter with autism became over-stimulated.  This mother contacted the Autism Society.  This national advocacy organization negotiated with AMC Movie Theaters to start a trial viewing of Sensory Friendly Films.  Over 300 viewers showed up for this first screening at the AMC Columbia Mall  14!   Read more about this life-changing strategy in the NPR online article 'IMAX'd Out: Kids With Autism Get Big Screen Break'

Yes, we have mentioned this before, but, anything good is always worth highlighting again!  We are so excited because in the New Orleans Metropolitan area, families faced with a developmental disability, now have 3 theaters they can visit to enjoy movies.  In Harahan, Houma and Hammond - children with autism are happily hurrying and shouting hooray as they head to AMC movie theaters each month. 

To find out how to request a Sensory Friendly Films viewing in your local AMC Theater, go to  Sensory Friendly Films of AMC Movie Theaters.

Now, our 5 year old enjoys going to the movies.  He does not cry, scream or shake in terror as we pull up to the theater.  He checks the displayed posters for his movie, tries to read the marquee, and even goes up to the window to pay for his ticket(if there is not a crowd).   He excitedly walks in handing the host his ticket.

The sensory issues he has associated with a developmental disability are eased due to the dimmed lights, low sounds, and reduction in previews/ads shown. No longer does he cover his ears, closes his eyes, fidgets in his seat and tries to run out of the show.  We notice that hosts remain in the theater to help, if needed.  For safety, the floor track lights remain on. The surround sound booming effect is removed, too.

He enjoys singing, laughing, dancing and interacting with the other movie goers!   He likes selecting which of his favorite crunchy snacks and h2ojuice drink he brings.  Once inside, he enjoys singing, laughing, dancing and socializing with the other movie goers!  What a great play day!   Next year, we might have his 6th birthday party at an AMC Movie Theater and request a Sensory Friendly Film viewing version.  You know what, we can incorporate this concept for a home party, too.

Partnering with The Autism Society,  AMC Sensory Friendly Films are showing the following movies this fall.

Upcoming Sensory Friendly showings* include:
September 4 - Nanny McPhee Returns
October 2 - Legend of the Guardians - The Owls of Ga’Hoole
November 6 - MegaMind
November 20 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
December 11  - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
All shows are at 10:00 am local time.
*Dates and films are subject to change.
To request AMC Sensory Friendly Films in your market, or to learn more about autism, please contact:
AMC Entertainment Community Relations    |     Autism Society of America

 It really works!  We participated in an email request by a disability advocacy and parent resource center.  AMC Movie Theaters responded to our needs. Now, we have 3 theaters sites showing Sensory Friendly Films!  

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