Red Carpet Treatment For Access Cinema Attendees Tyneside Cinema’s Access Cinema Project A Hit With Families With Special Needs
Family friendly cinema screenings for youngsters with disabilities and additional needs have been a hit thanks to sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell.
The Tyneside Access Cinema Project received £5,000 funding from the law firm’s Newcastle office earlier this year to develop a series of cinema screenings suitable for young people with special needs or disabilities at Tyneside Cinema.
The screenings at the independently run cinema on Pilgrim Street, are open to youngsters of all ages and aim to encourage families and community groups who care for children with a range of disabilities to enjoy the cinematic experience in a specially tailored environment.
The films are shown in an informal setting with the sound down and the lights up a little and cinema staff have also received training to ensure the attendees receive the best possible customer care.
John Davis, Irwin Mitchell’s regional managing partner in Newcastle who works on behalf of people with serious injuries, said: “I think the Cinema Access Project is a wonderful idea which has really sparked people’s love for watching movies together, whatever their age.
“At Irwin Mitchell we act for many disabled children and see the impact that disability can have on individuals and their families, so we are delighted to support the project and hope that it continues to provide the red carpet treatment to families in Tyneside for years to come.
“In all our cases involving serious injuries or disabilities our top priority is working with our clients to ensure we are able to help them live as independently as possible and experiencing something we all take for granted, such as the cinema.”
Holli McGuire, Cinema Projects Manager at Tyneside Cinema, said: “This has been an exciting and ambitious project for Tyneside Cinema with a lot of buzz and anticipation surrounding the first few screenings in June and July. But its success so far would not have been possible without the generous support from Irwin Mitchell, who have enthusiastically supported its development.
“We are thrilled that it has gone so well and it has been so popular that we have put the shows into a larger screen. The feedback we have received have been really positive with nine out of ten people we asked saying they would recommend the sessions to their friends and family.”
Vicky Ridley, 34, and Jeff Collins, took her daughter Megan, nine, who suffers from cerebral palsy along with her eight-year-old brother William to watch Disney’s family favourite The Lion King.
Vicky, of Cramlington, said: “We absolutely loved our visit to the cinema thanks to the Tyneside Access Cinema Project. Megan suffers from cerebral palsy and normal cinema screenings are just too loud for her. Tyneside Cinema ensured the screenings are fully accessible via lift, the atmosphere is relaxed and staff were always on hand to help guide us to the toilets or quiet room.
“I would definitely go again and would recommend the events to other families because it’s a great way for the whole family to enjoy watching a film together.”
The Access Cinema Project was inspired by Newcastle City Council’s strategy to develop new ways of encouraging the disabled community to access arts venues in the city. The plans also complimented the cinema’s existing plans to provide greater access and opportunities for younger audiences.
The next film will be Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on Sunday 5 August 2012. Tickets cost £4.20 for adults and £3.20 for those aged 15 and under. To book tickets or to find out more about Access Cinema, please call the Tyneside Cinema Box Office team on 0845 217 9909 or go to www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/accesscinema