Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Autism Friendly Mean?
- First, it means sensory-friendly (lights up a bit, sound down a bit).
- Second, if your child needs to get up, move, dance, sing… no problem!
- Third, if your child has food allergies or is a picky eater, you’re welcome to bring your own “safe” snack for them.
- Finally, since this experience can seem a little overwhelming at first, we’ll have autism specialists available to answer questions, share tips and techniques, and support your family and child to make their experience a fun and entertaining day at the movies!
Is This Only For Children With Autism?
No. All children, families or individuals with Special Needs or Disabilities who would benefit from a more sensory-friendly, understanding environment are welcome to join us at the movies! We also love it when families bring friends or other family members.
What Is Autism?
Phew! That’s a BIG question. For a full description of Autism and Autism Spectrum click here.
How Often Will These Autism Friendly Movies Be Showing?
The movies will be available on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Movie showtimes are generally at 10:30am, but the times are subject to change based on the movie selection for that week.
Is This Program Available At All Emagine Theatres?
Autism-Friendly Movies are currently playing at 6 participating Emagine locations:
Emagine Birch Run | (989) 624-3456
12280 Dixie Hwy, Birch Run, MI 48415
Emagine Canton | (734) 721-3456
39535 Ford Rd, Canton, MI 48187
Emagine Macomb | (586) 372-3456
15251 23 Mile Rd, Macomb, MI 48042
Emagine Novi | (248) 468-2990
44425 West 12 Mile Road, Novi
Emagine Rochester Hills | (248) 243-3456
200 Barclay Circle, Rochester Hills
Emagine Saline | (734) 316-5500
1335 E Michigan Ave, Saline, MI 48176
How Is This Program Different Than Other “Sensory Friendly” Movies?
First of all these movies are showing at an Emagine theater, which is one of the top, most cutting-edge theaters in the country. From their projection systems, to their seats, to their choices at the snack counters - everything they do is top notch and cutting edge. There’s nothing worse than when you go to a theater and spend your money to see a movie then to discover as the movie is starting that the sound is bad, projection system is weak, or that the seats are threadbare or uncomfortable. Those experiences are not things you have to worry about when visiting an Emagine theater.
Secondly, as part of our program and partnership with Centria Autism we will have Autism specialists on hand in the showings to answer questions, provide tips, tricks and techniques to help families and children learning how to enjoy the movie theater experience. For many families and children this can be overwhelming at first and we want to make sure to have resources there to help families and children overcome the hurdles that might have kept them from the theater in the past.
What About My Child’s Food Allergies?
No problem, bring a “safe” snack for your child and let them enjoy the movie with their own version of “movie food”. The rest of your group is still welcome to get your own popcorn, pop, or candy while you’re there! For a list of Gluten Free/Wheat Free options available at Emagine click here.
Is There A Special Cost / Price?
Nope. There is no additional charge for this program. Tickets and concession items are priced at their normal matinee prices, and any valid passes or coupons can be used as long as they’re valid for the showtimes.
I’m Not Sure If My Child Is Ready / Can Handle A Regular Movie Theater Movie?
This is a tough one. Only you really know if your child is ready, and even then it’s hard to know until you try it out. HOWEVER, part of the point of this program is to create a safe, less judgmental environment for you to explore your child’s boundaries. This is also part of the reason that we have Autism specialists on hand to answer questions or provide tips, tricks or techniques to help you and your child adapt and enjoy the theater environment.
Personal Side Note: I have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum and is now 17 years old. He’s always loved movies, but his intense sensory issues always made a trip to the movies a no-go. When he was five years old “Finding Nemo” came out and he liked the commercials so we figured what the heck, let’s give it a shot. We waited through the first couple of weeks and then selected an off time so the crowds would be smaller. When the movie started he was mesmerized... and nervous. Enthralled... and at times a little freaked out. Part of the movie was watched from his seat. Part of the movie was watched from the exit door. Part of the movie was watched sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall. In the end he made it through and loved the experience. Now, he loves going to see movies and the two of us hit the theater a couple times a month (at least!). He’s even able to go with small groups of friends to see the movies on his own. It wasn’t a smooth process and there were setbacks along the way but now that he’s gotten to the point where he can enjoy the movies, and the movie theater, without his Autism derailing it for him.
What If My Child Has A Meltdown? I Hate Being Judged In Public!
It’s no big deal. These showings are set aside as AUTISM FRIENDLY so your family won’t be the only one in the theater that understands the challenges and hurdles of Autism. We’ll also have Autism Specialists and BCBA therapists on hand to answer questions for parents or offer tips, tricks or techniques to help make the experience more enjoyable for any children or families having a hard time overcoming the hurdles that the theater experience can sometimes bring.
Still Have Questions / Thoughts / Concerns?
No problem! Feel free to contact us for more information.