Cinema City launches Norwich’s first dementia-friendly film screenings

Cinema City, Norwich. Photo: Simon Finlay

Cinema City, Norwich. Photo: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant

Picturehouse Cinemas are working to make cinema more accessible by launching dementia-friendly movie screenings at 20 of their locations across the UK, including Norwich.

Alongside their regular programme of accessible screenings, which include both hard-of-hearing subtitled and autism-friendly showings, Cinema City will now be offering movie goers in Norwich the opportunity to watch films in a dementia-friendly environment.

The venture, which is the first of its kind in the fine city, launched at 11am today, as the Picturehouse Cinema showed the 1930s classic musical, 42nd Street, starring Bebe Daniels and Julian Marsh.

Guests were invited to enjoy free tea, coffee and biscuits before the film in order to allow people to meet and socialise with others and get familiar with the cinema space.

Open to the general public, these new screenings aim to provide a fun, safe and inclusive experience for people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers, and each showing is specially enhanced to suit their needs: the lights are left on low, no adverts or trailers are played and the audience is allowed to move around and sing along to any musical numbers they like.

To begin with, the screenings will run every six weeks and are set to feature a selection of old classics and musicals such as Meet Me in St. Louis.

Cinema City Assistant Manager, Helen Carrick, said: 'We are looking forward to welcoming a new audience to our cinema. We hope to provide support and enjoyment with the dementia-friendly screenings. There's nothing like catching a film on the big screen and we are very pleased to offer this experience to as many as we can.'

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Access Coordinator Ellie Howell added: 'We are dedicated to making our cinema as accessible as possible. Film is a powerful way to connect people and we hope that the dementia-friendly screenings will enhance the lives of those living with dementia.'

• Cinema City's next dementia-friendly screening is of Meet Me In St Louis and will take place on Friday, December 9 at 11am. Tickets are available at a reduced price of £4 per person, with a free place being given for accompanying carers. Visit www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Cinema_City for more information.

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