Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Village Theatre now offers Sensory Sensitive movies

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill has begun a series of inclusive Sensory Sensitive Movie Program in the Main Auditorium at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.  These monthly movie showings are designed to ensure a sensory inclusive and welcoming experience for all who attend.
The Sensory Sensitive Movie program features movies with the sound turned down and the lights turned up to provide a comfortable environment. Reduced capacity showings will also allow for more space for moviegoers to walk around, sing, shout, dance, clap and talk.
 A limited number of weighted lap blankets, headphones and fidget devices will be available for checkout during these special showings, as well as for any performance in this venue.
Canton Leisure Services facilities, including The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, received Sensory Inclusive Certification from KultureCity, a leading non-profit organization committed to creating more inclusive communities nationwide. 
 Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions.
One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a high traffic area.  Common stimuli like lights, noises and textures may be perceived as too bright, too loud or too uncomfortable preventing participation in common activities.
“The movie theater environment is not always enjoyable for our son Cristian,” stated Canton resident Deborah Lawless.
“The massive volume can cause him to become agitated, the requirement to sit still for the entire length of a film, and the dark surroundings take away the enjoyment of the movie for him. It's to the point he will decline going to the theater.”
Lawless went on to explain: “We heard about sensory sensitive viewings and decided to attend a showing.

“I was intrigued and liked the idea of reduced volume but initially thought having an audience in motion and vocal would be distracting. It was not and he enjoyed the showing. Truth be told I even enjoyed it more than a regular showing!
“He was happy to be able to jump up and dance when a song motivated him to do so, vocalize, and ask questions. He was simultaneously tuned into the audience (he's a people watcher) and the movie at the same time and was not overwhelmed by it. He left the theater a happy, relaxed guy.”
Future showings at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will include:
 Pok√©mon Detective Pikachu (Rated PG) - 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9; The Polar Express (Rated G) - 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019; Smallfoot (Rated PG) - 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020; Ralph Breaks the Internet (Rated PG) - 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb.1, 2020; Aladdin (Rated PG) - 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 2020; Peter Rabbit (Rated PG) - 10 a.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020 and Mary Poppins Returns (Rated PG) - 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2, 2020.
Tickets for these events are $5 each and can be purchased online by going to www.cantonvillagetheater.org  or by calling or in person at the Village Theater Box Office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (734) 394-5300 x3.
 If there are any remaining tickets, they will also be available for purchase at the box office one hour prior to showtime.
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton.