Cinema screenings designed especially for children with autism have been welcomed.
Members of the Falkirk Autistic Bairns group (FAB) originally petitioned the Hippodrome in Bo’ness to introduce such screenings for their youngsters
There will be no adverts or trailers, and there will be modified lighting so it’s not as dark in the auditorium.
The volume will also be reduced and there will be a relaxed approach to moving from your seat. Audience members can also bring their own snacks if dietary requirements are not met by the Hippodrome Cafe.
Alison Strauss, Arts Development Officer (film and media) at Falkirk Community Trust, said: “At the Hippodrome we want to play our part in making great cinema experiences part of everyone’s childhood. One of the biggest anxieties faced by parents of children with autism is taking them to environments that might cause them distress.
“By making the small adjustments we have planned, more families can enjoy a trip to the Hippodrome.
“And families with children who do not all have autism, and who otherwise have to organise separate activities can experience their outing together.
“This is an important development for our programme and I am looking forward to hearing the feedback of the pilot from our audiences.”
Emma McQueen, secretary of FAB, said: “It was us who contacted the Hippodrome in September last year to highlight the need to implement an autism friendly screening and we are delighted that they have started this as it will benefit so many children in central Scotland.
“With the necessary adjustments, our ‘bairns’ can enjoy the benefit from going to the cinema and our parents can enjoy taking them.
“FAB would like to say a huge thank you to the staff at the Hippodrome for making this possible. We will be attending an autism friendly screening of Monsters University next month as a group and we are all very much looking forward to that.”
The autism friendly films will include Despicable Me, Epic and Oz The Great and Powerful. For full details of all the films and show times, go to www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org or call 01324 506850.