Watching a movie in the theater can be a special family outing, but it can be difficult for children or adults with special needs and/or sensory issues. To address this and give all families an opportunity to enjoy the experience, some local theaters offer sensory friendly or special needs screenings with lights up, sound down, and the freedom to stand, dance or move around the theater.
AMC offers films in a sensory-friendly environment four times a month. Sensory friendly movies are on the second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday of the month, with family-friendly movies on Saturdays at 10:00 am. These showings are intended for those with Autism or other special needs and their family and guests. AMC has theatres in Cicero, Niles, Chicago Ridge, Skokie, and Hodgkins, and multiple Chicago locations. See their list of locations online.
- March 8 at 7:00 pm – London Has Fallen
- March 12 at 10:00 am – Zootopia
- March 22 at 7:00 pm – The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Part 1
- March 26 at 10:00 am – Zootopia
- April 9 at 10:00 am – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
- April 12 at 7:00 pm – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
- April 23 at 10:00 am – The Jungle Book
- April 26 at 7:00 pm – The Huntsman’s Winter War
- May 10 at 7:00 pm – Captain America: Civil War
- May 14 at 10:00 am – Captain America: Civil War
- May 24 at 7:00 pm – Neighbors 2
- May 28 at 10:00 am – Alice Through the Looking Glass
Marcus Theatres recognizes that it can be difficult for families with children who have special needs to see a movie so they offer Reel Movies for Real Needs on select dates. Each movie is a first run movie which plays at 10:30 am. Regular matinee pricing applies. The Marcus Theatre in Addison participates in this program.
- March 5 at 10:30 am – Zootopia
- March 26 at 10:30 am – Batman vs. Superman
- April 16 at 10:30 am – The Jungle Book
- May 7 at 10:30 am – Captain America: Civil War
- May 21 at 10:30 am – Angry Birds
- May 28 at 10:30 am – Alice Through the Looking Glass
Studio Movie Grill offers family-friendly movies that are free for children with special needs and their siblings. Adults pay the before-noon price for tickets. Studio Movie Grill is located in Wheaton and will be opening a new location in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago soon.
- March 12 at 11:00 am – Zootopia
- April 23 at 11:00 am – The Jungle Book
- May 7 at 11:00 am – Ratchet & Clank
- May 28 at 11:00 am – The Angry Birds Movie