movie theater with minions

The “Autism Friendly Movies” program is a partnership between Emagine Entertainment in Novi and Centria Autism Services. The program was designed to provide a fun environment for families of children with Autism, and other Special Needs, to be able to enjoy the movie going experience in a more sensory gentle environment. Because of this the lights will be turned up a little big higher than normal and the sound will be a little less loud. Families with food allergies are encouraged to bring their own snack foods for their children.

Now, a more sensory friendly movie experience is a great idea but other theaters around the country have done this for years to varying levels of success. Part of what makes this program unique is that, through the Centria Autism portion of the partnership, we will have Autism Specialists on hand to answer questions for parents and provide helpful suggestions and techniques to make the experience even more friendly for the children and families. This help and guidance is not a requirement for attending these showings and will only be extended to families that ask and are interested in this additional help and support.

theater full of peanuts characters

It’s our goal to help the children, teens and families participating in this program to develop the skills and coping abilities to get to the point where they’re able to confidently go to the movies ANY TIME. It’s our hope to be able to help unlock this favorite American past time for the children attending these shows so when their friends, family or classmates go to the movies they’re able to go too ….. and enjoy the experience!

In addition to having Autism specialists available during the showings employees at Emagine Novi also undergo an Autism Awareness training to learn more about what Autism is and some of the challenges that individuals with Autism might face in going to the movies. This helps to insure that the theater is a friendlier, more understanding place for individuals and families with Autism.

Going to the movies has been a fun, important part of our social and family lives for decades. A couple hours of escape. A story that makes us laugh, cry, jump, reflect and sit on the edge of our seats in an audience of others experiencing the same highs, lows and adventures has been a part of birthday parties, holiday get togethers, date nights and lazy weekends for most of our lives. It’s our goal with this program to open up this experience to individuals and families who, due to challenges posed by their Autism or other Special Needs, might previously have been unable to go to the movies.

We look forward to having you join us, see you in the the theater!

theater full of pixar characters

If you have any questions, concerns or would like to find out more about this program please contact me

Steve Bockmann

Centria Autism Outreach & Engagement Manager




One comment

  1. This is such a wonderful and kind thing to do! I don’t have any autistic children, but if I did, I would most certainly take advantage of this. And, to have Autism Specialists on hand to assist with questions, and to have your employees undergo Autism Awareness training, that’s marvelous! How nice of you to think about those who are missing out on what others take for granted. Kudos to you!


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