CITY Screen, York is to play host to its first Dementia-Friendly Cinema screening on Monday afternoon when Stanley Donan and Gene Kelly's musical Singin' In The Rain will be shown.

"After this pilot, City Screen hopes to run a screening approximately every six weeks, always taking place at 1.30 on a Monday afternoon," says associate manager Cath Sharp. "Already we can confirm that William Wyler's Roman Holiday will be shown on June 20 and Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot on August 1.

"Dementia-Friendly screenings enable people with dementia and their carers to attend the cinema in a safe and comfortable environment, giving them the chance to get out and socialise."

Monday's screening - timed to coincide with the start of Dementia Awareness Week - is open to everyone but the viewing environment will be enhanced to suit the needs of people with dementia. "During the film, low lights will be left on inside the auditorium, the volume of the soundtrack will be reduced and it will be fine for members of the audience to express themselves," says Cath.

"Instead of adverts, we shall screen some of Yorkshire Film Archive's award-winning series Memory Bank, featuring family film footage to stimulate shared memories, and City Screen staff with Dementia Friends status will help provide support before, during and after the screenings.

"There's been an overwhelming response by front-of-house staff to do this training, which is testimony to how they are concerned about dementia and interested in helping."

City Screen's Dementia-Friendly Cinema will be presented in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, York Carers Forum and Yorkshire Film Archive, and the Coney Street cinema is applying to Film Hub North for funding for future screenings after Monday's trial show.

York Press:

Some Like It Hot: the third Dementia-Friendly Cinema screening at City Screen

Tickets are reduced to £4 per person and accompanying carers go free; complimentary tea, filter coffee and biscuits will be available before each show; and bookings can be made in person at the City Screen box office, on 0871 902 5726 or at

Please note, wheelchair spaces are limited, so booking in advance is recommended, and a flexible refund policy is in place, "so no-one should feel pressure to come after they've booked tickets," says Cath.

City Screen, York is one of several Picturehouse cinemas to have introduced Dementia-Friendly Cinema shows, along with Crouch End, Hackney, East Dulwich, Liverpool and Exeter. "Possibly there will be more doing so in the future," says Cath.

"Our first screening was at Hackney, and it's part of the Picturehouse Education programme that is run for both adults and children, with such other activities as Autism-Friendly screenings, Reminiscent screenings and School screenings."

Cath attended a Dementia-Friendly screening at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle last September and is delighted City Screen is taking up the Dementia-Friendly mantle. "Sometimes people are frightened to take a family member with dementia to a public screening, fearing that there might be an outburst or challenging behaviour, but as with Autism-Friendly screenings, there will be an environment to suit them," she says.

"There'll also be leaflets with song lyrics in reasonably large print in the cinema, as well as film stills and details about the actors."

City Screen has put together a list containing 40 contacts, such as residential homes, the city council, local trusts and day centres, who may wish to take advantage of the new screening facility. "You can contact me to go on the mailing list or if you need any more information about the screenings," says Cath, whose email address is

Meanwhile, the Alzheimer's Society has compiled a practical guide to assist arts venues in becoming more dementia-friendly. In addition to such screenings, City Screen will be presenting Vintage Sunday shows of Roman Holiday on June 26 and Some Like It Hot on August 7.