A couple of weeks ago, Safe Cinemas hosted our first event with the Curzon Sheffield, an autism-friendly screening of Lego Batman. Since a lot of you couldn’t get there (the turnout was pretty impressive!) I thought I’d let you know how it went, since it’s down to you friends that we could even get such a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for all your support so far, and I can’t wait to host more events – especially if they’re as great as this one.
The Curzon went all out to make their venue as inviting and friendly as possible – which is saying something, because if you’ve had the pleasure of visiting, you know it’s pretty much the cosiest place ever. I spoke to the manager, the lovely Nigel McEnaney, and he showed me around, and pointed out the adjustments that had been made, from the lighting to the Quiet Room.
The Quiet Room, something that a lot of people in our research highlighted as something they would really appreciate, was lovely, filled with sofas and cushions and a screen showing stills from the movie that kept anyone using it fully in the spirit of the film while they were taking some time out. The cinema was fairly small, but it was perfectly sized for us, as it gave a nice community atmosphere to the event. It was very accessible, with people free to come and go as they wished, and with the kind of calling out and talking completely welcome, in contrast to some more mainstream screenings.
The sound was turned down, and food was allowed to be brought in from elsewhere for kids who liked a routine of what they ate – facilitated by the lights being turned up slightly so everyone could see what they were doing. The cinema experience was traditional, with some trailers before the film (in contrast to lots of autism-friendly screenings), but this didn’t seem to bother the children who were already tucking into their popcorn by that time! I feel for them there, I don’t have the willpower to wait until the film starts before I’ve finished my drink!
I think one of the best things was seeing the representation it brought, having children who weren’t going to the screening becoming more aware of autism and what it was, and why there was a special screening just for them! And, obviously, my absolute favourite parts was seeing all the brilliant Batman costumes and dance moves the kids cracked out during the end credits! I had an amazing time, and I really hope anyone who attended did too.
Let me know if you went, and I’d love to hear what you think. I can’t wait until our next event, and hopefully it will be even better than this one (which would be hard to top). Thank you to the Curzon for having us, we can’t explain how grateful we are. The Curzon was the perfect venue, and we’re so thankful we got to work with a team so caring and kind.
Stay safe, friends. x