At the Rio cinema in Dalston, east London the matinee screening is aimed at the community’s senior citizens and all the screenings are dementia friendly. Cinemagoers are greeted warmly by the familiar faces of the Rio’s staff, who take their orders for tea, coffee and cake – all free with the £2 ticket.
“Dementia-friendly events are growing and we know there are pockets of activity in cinemas across the UK. We wanted to bring all that together and mark the significant change in how people with dementia can experience cinema,” says Hana Lewis, strategic manager of Film Hub Wales, one of nine BFI Film Audience Network hubs providing dementia-friendly guidance, training and support to cinema operators.
Alongside dementia-friendly screenings, cinemas across the UK are hosting reminiscence therapy activities, such as memory walks, guided tours and opportunities to handle special objects such as photographs, old coins and ticket stubs.