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City cinemas launches first of its kind show for people with special needs
Chennai-based SPI Cinemas has joined hands with a forum for special children, ‘aSPECIALworld,’ to launch a first of its kind in the country show — SENS: a special show for special minds.
Organised as part of their #cinemaforeveryone project, it will be a sensory-friendly experience devised by experts keeping people with special needs in mind. It will offer them a comfortable and adaptive movie-going experience.
For families of such individuals with special needs and sensory processing issues (such as dyslexia, or those on the autism spectrum), going to the movies can be challenging. They are hypersensitive to many things encountered at the theatre. Loud noises, long queues, sudden changes in light and large groups of people can be particularly overwhelming and could trigger meltdowns.
“Introducing these special shows allows us to not only build an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere but also to be more socially aware. Our aspiration is to make our cinemas accessible to everyone. Next up, there will be shows for people who are physically-disabled, hearing-disabled, visually-impaired, and so on,” said Bhavesh Shah, Head of Experience, SPI Cinemas.
Some of the features of the show will be dimmed lights throughout the duration of the show, lowered sound levels, unrestricted movement and chatter within the screen, longer intermission and a break-space to help patrons calm down. Keeping dietary restrictions in mind, a special menu will offer curated sugar-free, gluten-free and casein-free foods.
“The team at SPI Cinemas was very receptive to our needs; otherwise, this would never have been possible. If more corporates pick up on this example, the world will surely be a better place for citizens with special needs,” said Mala and Chinnappa, founder of aSPECIALworld.
SENS will screened on the first Sunday of every month. The first film to be screened will be Jungle Book at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai and The Cinema in Coimbatore on August 5.