What a fantastic idea! AMC theatres has partnered with the Autism Society of America to create a safe and accepting way for individuals with autism and their families to go out and enjoy new movies. Inside a theatre can be a stressful environment for individuals with autism, filled with lots of overstimulation and excitement causing what would be disruptive behaviors for other movie goers who do not understand what is going on with the individual. This has caused countless families to feel ostricized at movies resulting in an early departure or complete avoidance of movies at the theatre. Going to the movies with your family is something everyone should be able to enjoy and now AMC at select locations has extending this joy to a population which has not necessarily had the same opportunities to enjoy.
The environment is altered so that the lights are dimly lit instead of completely off, the sound is turned down so that it is not too loud for sensitivity issues, and the audience is more than welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing. These are specific screenings so that everyone in the screening is completely understanding and accepting. Everyone is more than happy to be in an environment where their close ones are accepted for who they are and behaviors are understood to occur. It is not out of the ordinary and there are no harsh critics telling people to quiet down or being judgemental.
When I heard of this, it was fantastic to realize that companies are working to adapt their services to help individuals with autism as so many times autistic individuals can be overlooked. A simple event as going to the movies is a fantastic way for these wonderful individuals to enjoy what they have a right to enjoy, a great new movie!
Here are links to an article written about these events as well as the link to the AMC page on their screenings and participating theatres across the country.