Carmike plans sensory-friendly screening of 'Finding Dory'

Carmike plans sensory-friendly screening of 'Finding Dory'

CHAMPAIGN — Ten-year-old Avery Mackey of Monticello likes watching movies but has yet to see one in a theater.

That will change come Saturday morning, when the Carmike 13 in Champaign hosts a sensory-friendly showing of "Finding Dory."

Avery has autism, which makes it difficult for him to endure the high-intensity sound and darkness of movie theaters. Plus, it's just hard for him to sit still.

But in sensory-friendly showings, "they turn the lights low but not completely off, turn the sound down, and I also suggested they cut out the previews because these kids are not going to sit through them," said Avery's mom, Liz, who got the ball rolling on the special presentation with a call to Carmike's corporate headquarters.

"Kids like my kid are obsessed with 'Finding Nemo,' and I knew my son would want to see 'Dory,' so I just wanted to figure out how he could see it," she said.

Carmike officials forwarded the request to local theater manager Martin Platz, and within days, Saturday's 10 a.m. show had been scheduled.

Mackey, the Willow Branch Township Library Director, works diligently to give those with sensory issues the ability to be themselves. Willow Branch is not your typical library — there's not a lot of shush-ing going on.

Games that allow children to experience things tactilely — even if that means making a mess with shaving cream — are encouraged at the Cisco-based library.

That atmosphere can also produce some noise, a theme she is sure will carry over to Saturday's showing at Carmike 13.

"It will probably be quite rambunctious. I hope so. I hope kids can go and have a good time," she said. "If you want a quiet movie experience, it's probably not the showing for you."

Sensory-friendly showings are not new, but the movies they feature are often old, Mackey said. She also wanted to schedule it for a Saturday to make it more available to more people.

Standard matinee tickets are required for admission into the sensory-friendly showing of "Finding Dory."

Steve Hoffman is editor of the Piatt County Journal-Republican, a News-Gazette community newspaper. For more, visit

Hunky 'Dory'

— What: A sensory-friendly showing of "Finding Dory," which broke box-office records for an animated film debut this past weekend,
— When: 10 a.m. Saturday.
— Where: Carmike 13, 910 Meijer Dr., C.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (2):Film, People

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Chazman wrote on June 20, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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What a great idea - the kids will love it!  Hopefully will be the first of many.