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Dementia Friendly Cinema at Tyneside Cinema

Monthly daytime film screenings for people with dementia and their families and carers.

Tyneside Cinema’s Dementia Friendly Cinema programme is based on a successful action research pilot project run in 2015. 

The pilot was initiated by the Elders Council of Newcastle, supported by a steering group of specialist partners, part funded by the Ballinger Charitable Trust and evaluated by Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing. 

The pilot identified and overcame barriers and stigma to enable people living with dementia, their carers, companions and families to come to the cinema and watch a series of classic films and musicals. The simple steps and care that was taken in developing Dementia Friendly Cinema enabled people who are often excluded to enjoy an everyday cultural experience in a supportive, friendly and social environment. The pilot was very successful and had a dramatic impact on both the cinema’s staff and operations and the audience members.

Building on success

With continued funding support from Tyneside Cinema and Ballinger Trust and expert support from our Dementia Friendly Cinema Steering Group, Tyneside Cinema has embedded Dementia Friendly Cinema into its programme, incorporating the learning from the pilot. Our 2016-19 programme includes: 

  • Regular monthly screenings, so that people can plan ahead and make it part of their diary
  • Dementia Friendly Café space in Tyneside Bar Café, so people can socialise after screenings 
  • Continued staff training programmes to maintain good levels of customer service for this audience
  • Opportunities for audience members to influence what films are shown 
  • Building the membership scheme to keep people informed with online or box office sign up
  • Audience outreach work to engage individuals, groups and networks in communities 
  • Some permanent physical adjustments to make the cinema more accessible 
  • Ongoing investment in temporary signage to make it easier to get around in the cinema 

Alongside Dementia Friendly Cinema and the established and successful Silver Screen film appreciation programme, the Cinema has also piloted running lunch clubs and a ‘Cinema Buddies’ programme with Age UK Newcastle for older people to overcome isolation.

Tyneside Cinema will continue to raise awareness across the cultural sector, as well as with policy and decision makers about the impact of these programmes for older people and encourage others to make more cultural provision available and more accessible to people with dementia and their families, carers and companions.

Download our Dementia Friendly Cinema Case study (PDF)

Dementia Friendly Cinema is funded by:

Dementia Friendly Cinema project partners:

Tripadvisor reviewer

‘Me and my friends come here for brunch quite frequently, and it never disappoints! Good coffee and awesome brunch, so many tasty things on the menu’

Tripadvisor review of Tyneside Bar Cafe, April 2017