Dementia-friendly screenings go monthly in Glasgow

GFT's Movie Memories helps make cinema accessible

by Jennie Kermode

Movie Memories at the GFT
Movie Memories at the GFT Photo: Ingrid Mur

The GFT in Glasgow has launched a new monthly event called Movie Memories aimed at making cinema accessible to people with dementia. The project, which is funded by the Life Changes Trust and supported by Glasgow Museums, seeks to tackle the isolation that many people in the early and middle stages of the disease face.

A trial run last year featured Singin' In The Rain and this year the project restarted with Whisky Galore. The screenings are accompanied by special materials to help attendees remember the films and the times they are set in. Carers are welcome, the lighting level is raised to make it safer to move around, and the sound is adjusted to help attendees with hearing difficulties.

"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," said Programme Engagement Coordinator Jodie Wilkinson. "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."

The GFT has been praised in the past for its autism-friendly screenings and baby-friendly screenings, and is considered a national leader in making cinema more inclusive.

"Movie Memories means that I am included, and I am so looking forward to [the December screening of] White Christmas," said Houston.

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