by Jeff Whipple, marketing and vice president, Megaplex Theatres 

Most children and adults enjoy a fun outing to the movie. Most people, but not necessarily everyone. With a dark auditorium lit only by a giant picture on screen along with massive sound blasting from high-tech speakers, the movie-going experience may simply be too intense for some guests, especially those with special needs. That’s the reason Megaplex Theatres is introducing new “Sensory Friendly” auditoriums at all participating locations for the 2016 Kids Summer Movie Program from Logan to Mesquite.

Sensory Friendly Movies provide an atmosphere in the auditorium designed to be more welcoming and less stressful for families with children on the Autism spectrum or other special needs. The volume of the film is lower and the auditorium lights are left brighter than in a regular screening. Guests who need to stand, move or make noise during the movie are welcome to do so without worrying about disrupting others. While recording is still prohibited inside the auditorium, guests who need them are welcome to keep their electronic devices turned on.

“Since we first opened, Megaplex Theatres has hosted a variety of individual screenings and events for those with special needs; however, this is the first time we have dedicated a second auditorium across all of our participating locations for the full 10-week run of the Kids Summer Movies,” said Blake Andersen, president of Megaplex Theatres. “Our goal is to follow the vision of Larry H. Miller and the Miller family and provide all of our guests with the best experience possible.”

The 2016 Megaplex Kids Summer Movie program features 10 of the funniest family-friendly films over the 10 weeks of summer vacation.

Movies will be shown on weekdays (except on holidays) at participating Megaplex Theatres locations starting at 10 a.m. with doors opening 30 minutes before the movie.

Sensory Friendly auditoriums will start approximately 30 minutes later (about 10:30 a.m.), to allow special needs guests and their families a little more time to get comfortable.

This year’s schedule includes the following movie titles (subject to change):

  • Alvin and The Chipmunks: Road Chip
  • Minions
  • Paddington
  • Pan
  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Home
  • Goosebumps
  • Penguins of Madagascar
  • Shaun The Sheep
  • The Peanuts Movie