Moviegoers were allowed to bring in snacks to suit special diets. The movie, typically a 3D computer-animation film, was shown in 2D instead. The theater opened early Tuesday for the special 9:30 a.m. showing, which was open to the general public.
Jennifer McCafferty, an employee at Arc of the Three Rivers, came up with the idea after reading an article about sensory-sensitive cinema. None of the movie theaters in the state offered such a service, so she approached Greater Huntington Theatre Corp., which owns Park Place, with the idea.
The city of Charleston also helped by opening up its nearby parking garage for the early screening. Mayor Danny Jones met with people as they came through the theater's front doors.
If Tuesday's event went well, McCafferty hoped to make sensory-sensitive cinema a regular event.
"Our mission is we are trying to bring awareness of people with disabilities and to erase the stigma," she said.
Theater manager Mike Tawney said Greater Huntington Theatres was happy to help. He said the locally owned company is not bound by corporate policies that would prohibit such an event.
"It's just common decency, I would think," Tawney said.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.