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Two groups partner together to create Autism-friendly movie environment

“In a sensory-friendly movie the lights are left about half so there is light in the theater and the sound is turned down and kids are free to get up and move.”
The Autism Society of the Black Hills reimagined going to the movies for families and people on...
The Autism Society of the Black Hills reimagined going to the movies for families and people on the Autism spectrum. Movies are dark, loud, and require sitting still, but for someone with Autism, that can be overwhelming.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 3:49 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Going to the movies seems like such a simple task. Hop in the car, grab some popcorn, and sit for two hours. But for some, doing such seemingly simple tasks isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

The Autism Society of the Black Hills reimagined going to the movies for families and people on the Autism spectrum. Movies are dark, loud, and require sitting still, but for someone with Autism, that can be overwhelming.

The Autism Society of the Black Hills partnered with Golden Ticket Cinema to create a sensory-friendly movie-going experience.

”In a sensory-friendly movie the lights are left about half so there is light in the theater and the sound is turned down and kids are free to get up and move,” said Kelly Keim, the co-president of the Autism Society of the Black Hills. “People are free to get up and move around if they need to ‘stim’, if they need to talk.”

Keim said families don’t always go to the movies for fear of bothering those around them but a sensory-friendly option brings people together who understand, like Holly Albers.

”With our son Axil, he has Autism, and we never went to movies before we had the sensory-friendly option because it would be too overwhelming for him, the sound is too loud, and he paces back and forth all the time and this gives him some freedom to move around,” said Albers, a parent.

The sensory-friendly option started last year and has brought in up to 70 people per flick.

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