The cinema can be a rather stressful place for people with autism or other special educational needs and disabilities, but here at Zinc we are determined to make the cinema more accessible and to enable everyone to enjoy the cinema experience in a safe, supportive and, most importantly of all, relaxed way.

We were very lucky recently, and with the support of our friends at Essex Short Breaks, we were able to provide our first FREE Relaxed Cinema Screenings for young people (up to age 25) with special education needs living in Essex.  We were particularly pleased to be able to extend the invitation to families and friends so that everyone could join in the experience together.

On the day itself we were delighted to see around 40 people join us, ranging from about age 10 upwards.  Our lovely theatre is very welcoming at the best of times but we made it even more relaxing with bean bags everywhere and bubble sensory lighting creating a calming atmosphere.

We kept the house lights on, but turned down low and audience members were welcome to move around and make noise if they wanted to.

We screened Finding Nemo which went down very well indeed with the  whole audience young and old. It’s such a classic after all, who doesn’t like this fishy tale!

Following the screening we received some wonderful feedback including these comments from a family of three.

“Great location and parking, great facilities, friendly and accommodating staff and very relaxed!

My daughter loved helping herself to the popcorn and my son loved the rainbow

 cakes. My daughter was also really pleased for her huge Simba to sit next to her and enjoy the experience too!”

We are hoping to run many more future events and screenings of this kind.  If you would like to be kept informed why not sign up to our SEND events mailing list:

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