Before children I used to love going to the cinema. I used to take my nieces and I was very excited about being able to do this with my own children.
Being that Ethan doesn’t like to sit still the idea of taking him to the cinema was a daunting subject. As I think it’s very important for Ethan to experience new things we actually tried a cinema trip in December 2014 and 2013. Both times Ethan wouldn’t sit still and walked up and down our row the whole time. The experience in December 2014 was so bad that I actually come out of the cinema close to tears.
I knew that our local cinema shows Autism Friendly screenings and I vowed that if the Minion film was being shown we would attempt a trip to the cinema again.
An Autism Friendly screening of the Minions was announced and we booked tickets for Sunday. At five would Ethan be ready to watch a film at the cinema?!
I won’t lie, I was very nervous. Darren was working so Grandpa and Grandma came with me for adult support. We collected our tickets and I loaded up with popcorn hoping this will help keep my little man still.
During Autism Friendly screenings they don’t show any trailers, which helps shorten the length of the time in the cinema. The film is quieter than normal, which I think would be a nicer level for all films and them keep the lights dim rather than having the cinema in complete darkness.
The cinema was packed with people of all ages and it was lovely to know that families could go and enjoy a cinema experience without needing to explain any behaviors as everyone there understood the world of autism.
Ethan was a complete star, he stayed sitting for the whole film and we even caught him smiling at the movie a few times. I think he really enjoyed it. He may have overdosed on popcorn but this cinema trip was a very positive experience.
It has given me the confidence to take him again but I would only pick films that I think might hold his attention because he doesn’t really watch films at home. It also means that in the future we could possibly enjoy trips to the cinema as a family of four.
The funny thing is, we found out yesterday that he is also going to see the Minions film with his class as the local cinema is having a special screening for them. He really will be a pro at cinema trips by the end of this month!
We were able to attend this Autism Friendly screening of the Minions thanks to Dimensions UK. They run the Autism Friendly Screenings with ODEON, Cineworld, Vue and Showcase Cinemas, each showing a screening a month. That’s 250 cinemas offering this fantastic service so families like us can enjoy a cinema experience.