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Sensory-sensitive film offerings now a monthly event

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On Aug. 7, Park Place Stadium Cinemas and The Arc of The Three Rivers will host their third Sensory Sensitive Cinema event: a screening of "The Smurfs 2" at 9:30 a.m.

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."

The series officially starts Aug. 31 with Disney/Pixar's "Planes," a spin-off of "Cars," about a crop-dusting plane that dreams of competing in an aerial race but is afraid of heights.

The remaining films for 2013 are:

Oct. 5: "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" -- In this sequel, Flint Lockwood's machine now makes mutant food beasts like tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons, and it's once again up to Flint and his friends to save the world.

Nov. 9: "Free Birds" -- Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks have to put their differences aside and travel back in time to change the course of history, eliminating turkey from the holiday menu for good.

Dec. 7: "Frozen" (2D) -- A fearless optimist teams with a mountain man and his loyal reindeer in an epic journey to find her sister, whose powers have trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.

All movies are animated and are $6 per person.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4881.


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