April 14, 2016
Beginning on Saturday, April 16, the Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) will host "Sensory Friendly Weekend: A Little Help From My Friends," in conjunction with Autism Awareness Month. The two-day event will feature a program made up of eight short films that are family-friendly. The films include a story about a mushroom that loses his hat and the tale of a tiny airplane pilot who needs to get home.
To make the movie theater experience inclusive for all, the volume will be lowered, the lights will be left on, and no one is expected to sit still, be quiet or remain in their seats.
Betsy Saccenti, a registered dance and movement therapist, developed themed activities for children during the movie, as well. She will lead a warmup, intermission and closing activity.
“Film is such an accessible and immersive art form, but the theater can be an intimidating place for young children and people of any age and ability who experience a range of social, behavioral, or developmental challenges,” Allison Koehler, program director at the Philadelphia Film Society, stated in a press release.
"It is important to me that PFS consider and execute adjustments that make the theater environment comfortable and inclusionary. Our goal is to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for all.”
Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Children's tickets are $1 and general admission is $5.