One Springfield movie theater looks to offer sensory-friendly experience

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – One movie theater in Springfield is going out of its way to accommodate young families and people with special needs. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has a program called “All ages,” which offers people a sensory-friendly movie experience.

OzarksFirst spoke with Cameron Steele, an assistant general manager of the theater.

“We are very, very passionate about creating opportunities for anyone and everyone,” Steele said. “Alamo is incredibly inclusive. We’re incredibly proud of the community that we live in and we want to be able to extend that opportunity for entertainment to everyone. We’re really excited to see them come out and have more opportunities to do that in the future.”

Steele says “All Ages” has been offered since the Alamo opened in town. The program took a break during the pandemic, but it just recently has been rolled back out for people to enjoy.

“Means a lot to know that folks have been looking forward to this coming back,” Steele said. “So that it’s not completely overwhelming for young children or folks with disabilities that might otherwise feel uncomfortable at one of our normal shows.”

Here’s how the program all works. During a showing, the rules are a bit more relaxed:

  • The lights are on during the movie.
  • The volume is turned down a little bit.
  • Movie-goers can talk and move around.
  • Relaxed late policy.
  • Adaptive technology is allowed (i.e. closed caption devices, headphones, hearing aid).

“I think that it has been really beneficial for parents of young children and folks who are taking care of folks with special needs,” Steele said. “It’s been great to have an opportunity to get them out of the house, enjoy the gift of cinema and not have to worry about some of the pressure or stress of maybe having a distraction whenever they are out in a crowd of several folks who want to be distraction-free. We want to make sure everyone has that opportunity to get to enjoy what we love so much.”

“All Ages” is offered weekly on the first shows of the day on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s.

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