There is great news for movie goers in Northern Indiana! Showplace 16 in South Bend is the latest theater in Indiana to offer viewers sensory friendly versions of popular, current films.
What are sensory friendly films and who will benefit from this new program in South Bend? Families and children with autism or other special needs who have a heightened, negative reaction to many forms of sensory input will feel more at ease and comfortable at a sensory friendly film. During a screening of a sensory friendly film, the sound is turned down and the lights are left on. Everything about the viewing environment is arranged to help the child on the autism spectrum feel comfortable. By altering the viewing environment, sensory friendly films make the movie going experience more enjoyable for viewers with autism.
In addition, children who are autistic and may have extra movement such as flapping, spinning, dancing when they are happy, sad, excited, or stressed will no longer have to worry about adhering to stringent movie going etiquette. In these sensory friendly movies, it is okay to move as needed or desired. The expectation is not to remain seated and quiet, thus, families don’t have to worry that they’ll cause a disruption. At Showplace 16, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, sing and even shout. The “Silence is Golden” policy will not be applied.
The sensory friendly films will be shown once per month on Saturday morning. Children who are on special diets are allowed to bring their own snacks.
As movie titles and times are announced, that information will be shared on this blog.