Do you find cinemas accessible? — Scope | Disability forum
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Do you find cinemas accessible?

Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,488 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2021 in Autism and neurodiversity
The Guardian: Cinemas, autism and accessibility
As cinemas try to encourage visitors post-lockdown, it’s important they cater for movie-goers with autism, says Steve Scown (Chief executive of Dimensions).

Peter Bradshaw is quite right that many people still love the “democracy and equality” of going to the cinema together (After the intermission: films are back in cinemas – but will the crowds return too?, 24 August). However, this only applies if screenings are actually accessible to all.

People with autism or other sensory issues can be put off trips to the cinema if the foyer environment and ticket-purchasing experience (including issues such as lighting) are too overwhelming and stressful, or if staff are not trained in autism awareness.

But there is real demand for accessible screenings. Indeed, our research has found clear majorities of people with autism who visit the cinema do so because they prefer it to streaming at home, with the main reasons for this being getting to see a film on a big screen and experiencing the joy of going out.

Thankfully, adjustments can often be easily made to cinemas to enable autism-friendly screenings, and many cinemas host these at least once a month. Dimensions offers free training to independent cinemas so they can host their own autism-friendly screenings.

Do you find cinemas accessible? Have you made use of any adjustments to make going to the cinema more accessible? Do you think cinemas do enough to make going to the cinema accessible for people with autism?

National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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  • rubin16
    rubin16 Community member Posts: 290 Pioneering
    I personally can't handle cinema's as they put me on edge, they're normally crowded, too noisy and not sensory friendly. I normally just watch things at home when they are released. I didn't know there was sensory friendly showings but I don't know how much this will change things, as the whole cinema environment would have to change.

    If things did change though, I would perhaps give it a go again. but even getting out the house for me is a big step and gives me anxiety, let alone going to the shopping centre (Cinema is in a big retail place for me) which itself is a nightmare, and then going to the cinema. Just thinking about it puts me off.

    Aside from me though I do like the way they are catering for people with sensory issues, as not everyone is the same on the spectrum so others may be able to tolerate it more. I must admit though the whole cinema envoronment like mike says is not friendly towards other disabilities too and should really be catering for more walk of life, not just autism however its a good step forward.
  • littleacorn
    littleacorn Community member Posts: 360 Pioneering
    I find my local cinemas accessible as a wheelchair user but do have a few points. Wheelchair spaces are placed next to one other seat making it impossible for someone in a family to sit together. Short walls are often placed infront of the wheelchair which the wheelchair user cant see over as it is too high. 


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