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Dementia-friendly Film Screenings

Saffron Screen will launch its dementia-friendly screenings next month with a screening of the Hollywood classic, Singin’ in the Rain.

The project supported by Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance offers those living with dementia an opportunity to see a film in a relaxed, supportive and safe environment. Key features include: more lighting, no adverts, a 15 minute interval and a welcoming environment for those living with dementia and their family, friends and carers. Moving around and noise are also accepted and the doors open 1 hour before for socialising  and acclimatising. Tickets are priced at £5, carer tickets are free and the ticket price includes a free hot drink and biscuits.

Saffron Screen’s Community Engagement project leader, Jacque Woolley said:

“As a community cinema, we are always looking for new ways to ensure that we are accessible to as many people as possible. We are very happy to work with Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance on a pilot project of two film screenings in September and October. We aim to offer enjoyable, social encounters for people with dementia and their carers. We will create a safe and welcoming environment at the cinema with a social space with refreshments for an hour before the film, low lighting throughout the film and an interval. We  hope that the project will reduce the isolation often felt by people living with dementia, promote a deeper understanding of dementia and make people feel part of a wider, empathetic community.”

Dementia-friendly screenings are becoming popular at independent cinemas across the country and offer a powerful way for those living with dementia to reconnect with memories and with other people.  They also help people with dementia feel less isolated and challenge the stigma associated with the condition. A second dementia-friendly screening will run in October with the Cliff Richard classic, Summer Holiday.

Saffron Screen is committed to making the cinema more accessible and in 2015 launched Pop-up Saffron Screen, a project to take cinema to the heart of communities and serve the more rural areas of Uttlesford. It has since successfully screened over 25 films in village halls and churches and demand continues to grow. The cinema also offers autism-friendly screenings, an audio description service on most films and shows subtitled films for the hard of hearing. It is also wheelchair friendly and has an induction loop.

Singin’ in the Rain (U) will be shown at Saffron Screen on Sunday 24 September at 3pm and Summer Holiday (U) will be shown on Wednesday 25th October at 3pm. Tickets are available in person from the Tourist Information Centre and box office or online at www.saffronscreen.com.