Most people love a movie. There is something really exciting about going to see a film you’ve been anticipating, and are genuinely excited about.
The modern era of instant information takes quite a lot away from the excitement we used to feel when you knew the name of a movie and just a rough idea of the story. These days when there are so many spoilers, and the stars are constantly trailed around the chat shows, it is difficult not to take the edge off what you are going to see.
I am a Star Trek fan, and going to see the new releases is always exciting for me. It used to be something I would do with my Dad. We would have a date to go see the films, just the two of us, it was our special thing. Generations was the last one he saw. I think of him every time I see that movie. It might not be one of the better films, but to me, its special. Hubby and I were going to go and see the latest one last Friday, but with M home from school, it couldn’t happen, so I am trying my hardest not to talk to too many people who have seen it, as I still want the excitement and the wonder of experiencing the story as it unfolds in front of me. We don’t go to the grown-up movies very often, as we have to sneak off during the day, as trying to go out of an evening has long been something we are resolved to not happening!
The boys both love their films. M goes through phases with them. He finds something he enjoys and he will watch it over, and over again, to the point he will know it almost word-perfect. D on the other hand is only obsessive with the Star Wars movies, but he does have his favorites amongst other films. M’s taste in films is luckily not too bad, and so when you’ve seen the Smurf movie 27 times, there are still bits of it you laugh at!
Going to the cinema though is quite an ordeal. The boys love the experience. However at the same time there are so many strange things going on around them that it can be quite stressful for them ( and therefore me!). We only go to the kids club screenings at the weekend. It is a cheaper ticket, and so if either of them is finding it too traumatic it’s not a small fortune lost if you have to leave. Many cinemas now do autism friendly screening, where the lights aren’t turned down so low, and the volume isn’t so high. The only problem is the tickets aren’t reduced much, and so it is an expensive option.
The boys however have got used to the routine of going into the cinema. We have to arrive just before the film starts. If we are too early we get a constant nagging or frustration as they wait for it to begin. This isn’t always easy to do, especially when the film doesn’t start on time (yesterday, it was 20 minutes later than advertised, and restlessness was setting in). When the lights go down, you will hear M repeating that is has got dark – his way of settling it in his head, and accepting it.
Then when the music starts, D will sit with his hands over his ears for a while until he gets used to the volume, or if he has a top with a hood he will pull it up to bloke some of the sound.
One reason for going to kids club is it is less busy than a traditional screening so if they need to move about it’s not too disturbing to too many people. We like to choose to sit at an aisle end so they can move to sit on the stairs if they need to. To have the little bit of freedom makes them more comfortable. D will usually be either sat on the edge of his seat, or snuggled into me, sometimes moving to sit on my lap. He needs the comfort and support of an alien environment. M will wriggle about a lot, and I would hate to be sitting behind him as he can be bobbing up and down a fair bit!
Both boys are really good in the cinema on the whole, and enjoy the whole experience. Sometimes I wish it could be as easy as taking the kids in, and them sitting there quietly, but that would not be my boys. They have found ways to help them cope, and if it works for them, then its good for me!