Sensory Sensitive Cinema is a way for families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities to enjoy a trip to the movies in a setting geared toward them. At such screenings, the lights are turned up, and the sound levels are lowered to a more comfortable volume. Patrons are free to talk, sing or move around during the movie. Those with special dietary needs can bring their own snacks.
"All the common courtesies of going to movies are thrown out the window; it's tailored to their needs," said Jason Bailey, director of Community Services at The Arc of The Three Rivers.
The first sensory sensitive film at Park Place was the animated family comedy "The Croods," on April 23. The second was Disney/Pixar's "Monsters University," on July 11.
Bailey estimated that 160 people showed up to the two. He said Greg Pauley, the vice president of Greater Huntington Theater Corp. (which owns Park Place), said he'd gotten a lot of positive feedback. So, as they were scheduling this week's event, GHTC proposed making it a monthly event.
Bailey said Pauley wants to keep the emphasis on child- and family-friendly fare, so after this week, they're moving future showings from weekday mornings to Saturday mornings. They'll still start at 9:30 a.m.
"We're just trying to get more people out there," Bailey said. "Give them the availability, give something to the Mountain State."