Glasgow Film Theatre successfully launch Dementia Friendly screenings

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In September 2016, Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) held a dementia friendly film screening at Dundasvale Residents Hall. With a focus on accessibility and bringing people together, a pop-up screening of the Gene Kelly classic Singin’ in the Rain was held, complete with a movie memories handling kit, kindly loaned from Glasgow Museums.

Following on from the success of this event, GFT was awarded funding from Life Changes Trust to launch a monthly dementia friendly cinema programme, Movie Memories. The programme is designed especially for people affected by dementia which includes carers and / or families and friends. The Movie Memories launch event, Whisky Galore!, took place at GFT on Thursday 19 October, as part of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival. The launch was a huge success with over 50 attendees.

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Many people with a diagnosis of dementia fear that they will no longer be socially welcome, and stop taking part in activities they enjoy. The Movie Memories programme looks to address this with inclusive and friendly screenings, dementia friendly venue and dementia aware staff and volunteers.

Jodie Wilkinson, GFT’s Programme Engagement Coordinator commented, “A diagnosis of dementia should not ostracise people and so there is a social duty to make sure people still have the choice to engage. GFT is the first cinema in Glasgow to run this type of programme and we are working with a Movie Memories Coordinator, Agnes Houston – who was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. We are proud to offer people living with dementia, their families and/or carers, the choice to engage in coming to the cinema.”

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Agnes Houston, MBE, GFT’s Movie Memories Coordinator, commented, “GFT projectionists have found the high and low spots of acoustics making it possible for me to enjoy the cinema experience for the first time in 10 years. Similarly with the lights being slightly brighter, I have no fear in getting around the cinema. Together, we found the barriers and then created solutions to make the GFT an enabling environment. Movie Memories means that I am included, and I am so looking forward to White Christmas.”

The Movie Memories programme will aim to reach over 1,700 people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families. Movie Memories continues in November with a screening of Britain on Film: Coast and Sea (Thu 23 Nov) and in December with White Christmas (Thu 21 Dec). Tickets (£3.00) are on sale now.

Stay up to date with GFT Movie Memories events by signing up to the Enewsletter.

All photography by Ingrid Mur

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