Sat. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is Sensory Friendly

New sensory friendly logoSince 2007, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment. Tomorrow, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is Sensory Friendly at AMC.

Sensory Friendly Films was born when Marianne Ross, of Elkridge Maryland took her seven year old daughter, Meaghan, to a matinee to see a movie starring one of her favorite actors. She intentionally picked an early showing figuring there would be fewer people there, but when Meaghan saw her favorite guy on the big screen she began to flap her hands, dance, twirl and jump up and down. Unfortunately a few other movie-goers complained to staff, and the manager asked the Ross’ to leave.

It occurred to Marianne there were probably a lot of people who found themselves in similar situations – or worse yet, didn’t even try to go see a movie for fear of the possible outcome.  The next day, she called her local AMC Theatre and asked if Dan Harris, the manager, would be willing to set up a special screening for children on the autism spectrum.  Dan not only took her suggestions, but made it even more sensory friendly.

The movie auditoriums would have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families would be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there would be no advertisements or previews before the movie and it would be totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing.  It was a huge success! On this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation on Saturday, July 28th at 10am (local time). Tickets are typically $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming in August: TBD

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Editor’s note: Although Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some action and rude humor.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

About the Author

Stefanie Zucker is President and co-founder of Pediatric Medical Devices and Managing Director and co-founder of Axios Partners, a strategy consulting firm. After a number of years spent researching the safety issues associated with transporting children on ambulances she became a child health safety advocate and formed Pediatric Safety with a goal of creating a world-wide movement of parents and caregivers inspired to protect the health and safety of kids.Stefanie is a member of the PedSafe Team

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