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Cinema for Everyone

Cinemas are making a greater effort to open themselves up and be accessible to everyone. From relaxed screenings to baby-friendly showings, it is becoming increasingly easy to see the latest films, as well as classics, no matter what your needs are. Daily Info has run through the venues that have specialist screenings to help you find the right ones for you.

Classic films, relaxed settings

Relaxed screenings are offered by the Abbey Cinema, Chipping Norton Theatre and the Aylesbury Waterside. These are films where carers are accommodated, the films picked tend to be more familiar, classic films, and the light and sound is altered to provide a less pressurized environment. Coming up soon, Chipping Norton Theatre are bringing back Rocketman, the Abbey Cinema has showings of The Sound of Music and Oliver! planned, whilst the Aylesbury Waterside will be screening Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Wizard of Oz in the coming months.

The Vue, Odeon and the Phoenix Picturehouse all offer specifically autism-friendly screenings. These are less regular but their number has grown in recent years. They screen films with raised lights and lowered volume.

Both Odeon and Vue offer older customers specific screenings, favouring films coming to the end of their initial cinematic run. Odeon (under the banner Silver Cinema) offer theirs for over 55s, whilst the Vue’s senior screenings are aimed at people aged 60 and over. Both come with complimentary tea and biscuits.

Something for the children

There are a number of more affordable children-centric screenings that take place. The Vue has Mini Mornings, Phoenix Picturehouse has their Kids’ Club, Odeon has Odeon Kids, and even the Abbey Cinema in Abingdon gets involved in the action. All children need to be accompanied by an adult or guardian and most of the films selected are family-friendly picks from the last six months. The Abbey Cinema's screening comes with face painting, fancy dress, colouring and other treats & freebies. The Phoenix Picturehouse stands out in that it will often offer more classic choices, thus can be the perfect setting to introduce your children to one of the beloved films of your youth. They also run Toddler Time on Thursday mornings - showing children's short films and TV episodes, exclusively for preschool children and their parents/guardians.

Babies allowed

An increasingly popular offering for cinemas are baby and parent/guardians screenings. They are currently offered by three cinemas in and around Oxford. The Phoenix Picturehouse offers them weekly on Wednesday morning for the biggest film on their week (which is perfect for any parent/guardian who is also a cinephile). The Ultimate Picture Palace run their Baby Club on Thursday lunchtimes most weeks, and show films with the light up a litte, the sound down and, where possible, with subtitles. All there upcoming specialist screenings (including Q&A and festival showings) can be found here. Finally the Abbey Cinema in Abingdon is great for parent/guardian and baby screenings, particularly thanks to its table and chair set up at the front half of its auditorium.

For all the latest cinema listings check out our what's on page. This includes subtitled screenings for the hard of hearing, which are a weekly occurance at most Oxford cinemas.

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