Remembering May 20th, 5 years later
Temperatures to climb back up over the next few days

Theater catering to special needs audience

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MOORE, Okla. - An Oklahoma theater is taking steps to welcome those with autism and sensory disorders.

Typically those who struggle with certain types of special needs stay away from theaters for a variety of reasons but now they don't have to.

Six-year-old Dakota Wheeler struggles with autism and a sensory processing disorder.

While he loves movies, a trip to the theater is just not an option.

“It's very difficult”, Dakota’s mother Melissa said. “We actually tried to take him to see Cars 2 in the theater and he flipped out when the lights went low and it got loud in the theater.” 

It can be a lot for kids like Dakota to handle. 

With that in mind, this weekend the Warren Theater is starting a new showing geared toward those with autism and sensory disorders.   

Bill Warren, President of Warren Theatres said he wants to help.

“There was a group of wonderful families out there that just couldn't go to movies. I just was unaware of that," he said.

While the theater may look the same, the experience will be different. 

“The light level is up, not as much as I thought it might be and the sound is turned down,” Warren said.

All sensory-friendly showings will also be held in a theater with sloped aisles, not stairs, giving the kiddos and their families' freedom to move around more easily.

“They're welcome to dance or enjoy the movie because this is a different environment,” he said.

The first sensory-friendly presentation in Wichita filled up three theaters.

This Saturday’s showing is “Rise of the Guardians" and will start at 11 a.m., the theater opens at 10:15 a.m.

Tickets are $7.