Spotlight Theatre plans dementia-friendly screenings of musical films

Some of the Spotlight Theatre team who have organised the screenings.
Some of the Spotlight Theatre team who have organised the screenings.

The Spotlight Theatre is planning new cinema events for people with dementia in the new year.

It will be showing musicals on the big screen on the first Monday of every month, but will be keeping low lights on during the performance and setting up a ‘quiet zone’ in the bar area.

Chairman Mike Sheldon said: “Current figures report 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and the number is increasing – so there’s a definite audience for screenings that are adapted for people with this condition.”

The screenings will be free for people with dementia and their carers and will include free tea, coffee and biscuits during the interval.

Mike added: “We’re fortunate in that the Spotlight is run by a dedicated team of volunteers and we plan to cover the cost of running the event, in part, from the proceeds of our famous Spotlight raffle, which takes place at most of our performances.

“We felt strongly that we should fund these film shows as part of our commitment to the community.”

The team at the Spotlight have spoken to other venues which have held similar events and taken advice from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Volunteer Maria Prchlik, who will be part of the team helping at the special screenings, said: “Many of us know someone whose life has been affected by dementia.

“It’s important that those with the condition keep on doing the things they love as long as they can and going to the pictures is one experience that The Spotlight intends to help people enjoy as long as possible.”

The first film will be shown on Monday, January 7, starting at 12.45pm.

The Spotlight is fully accessible, with ramped access to both the building and the auditorium. However, steps need to be negotiated beyond the first row of

seating.