Croydon cinema puts on dementia-friendly screenings

David lean cinema seats
David Lean Cinema screen with the lighting on for viewers Pic: David Lean Cinema

A cinema in Croydon is screening films for people suffering with dementia at the price of £1 and their carers go in for free. Lighting, sound, and environment are all adjusted for the audience.

The David Lean Cinema, at Croydon Clock tower, in partnership with the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance offers dementia-friendly screenings on the first Tuesday of every month at 11 am.

Roger Dowling, operations manager at David Lean Cinema said: “The lights are left on at a low setting rather than completely off for normal screenings”.

“Depending on the film, sound may not be as loud as usual and we don’t show any trailers before the film (we don’t show adverts with any film). The audience are free to move around if they wish. Free tea and biscuits are available too”.

The people working at the cinema during the dementia friendly screenings are mainly volunteers and have had training to be dementia friendly by The Alzheimer’s Society.

Dowling said “We rely on donations from various sources to fund these screenings on an annual basis as we do have costs imposed on us by the film copyright holders. We’ve also discovered that we can reduce the cost of each screening by charging entry (the copyright charge reduces for some strange reason) so for this year we charge £1 per person booked with any carers free. Last year our screenings were totally free but cost us a lot more in rights issues.”

“The copyright holder for the 2019 Christmas film (Scrooge) was Talking Pictures TV and they waived any charge for this in return for us showing their four minute promo prior to the film which we gratefully did.”

You can check the list of films for the dementia friendly screenings scheduled for this year on their website.

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