Steamboat theater to host 1st sensory-friendly screening in Northwest Colorado |

Steamboat theater to host 1st sensory-friendly screening in Northwest Colorado

Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas and the Yampa Valley Autism Program will offer a sensory-friendly screening of "Cars 3" at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Yampa Valley Autism Program has been working for years to bring a sensory-friendly film to Northwest Colorado, and on Saturday, the Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas in Steamboat Springs will host a sensory-friendly showing of "Cars 3."

"This is such a big deal," said Lisa Lorenz, executive director of the Yampa Valley Autism Program. "So many families have never been able to take their special needs family member or small kids to the movies, because of loud volume, complete darkness, as well as the parents' anxiety about disrupting the general audience."

The 10 a.m. showing of "Cars 3: will offer a different viewing experience that caters to audience members who are sensitive to sounds, lighting and crowds.

To make the showing sensory friendly, lights are dimmed but not turned off in the theater and the movie's sound is slightly lowered. Audience members have the ability to move around or stand if needed, and they can speak or make noises during the movie.

Larger spaces between seating is offered, and families are allowed to bring their own snacks to meet special dietary needs.

"This gives those kids and families the opportunity to experience a movie at a big theater in a welcoming and understanding environment," Lorenz said.

Recommended Stories For You

Sensory-friendly movie screenings are popular in larger, urban areas but are hard to justify in smaller markets, Lorenz explained.

"Yampa Valley Autism and the local families are grateful to Metropolitan Theaters corporate offices and the Wildhorse Theater in Steamboat for making this possible," Lorenz said. "We hope to have a huge turnout, making it more likely to have future sensory-friendly screenings for upcoming movies."

Lorenz added that the sensory-friendly movie screening in Steamboat is a first nationally for the Metropolitan Theater Corporation.

Saturday's show is open to all ages, and everyone is welcome to attend. The cost is $6 per person and tickets can be purchased at the theater.

Visit for additional information.

To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email or follow her on Twitter @LSchlichtman

If you go:

What: Sensory-friendly screening of “Cars 3”

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24

Where: Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas, 655 Marketplace Plaza

Cost: $6