Movie showings for special needs kids? Yes, please.

Last weekend I had the good fortune to remember that a local movie theater offers monthly showings of current kid’s movies for special needs families.  It ended up being a wonderful experience, and it would be a disservice to many of you if I do not share the awesomeness which is the Studio Movie Grill.

If you live near: Scottsdale, Dallas, Houston or Atlanta, be thrilled.  If you don’t, you’ll probably want to move there after you read this.

Studio Movie Grill is one of those new-fangled theaters which offers meal service delivered to your seat during the movie (gluten free selections?  You betcha.).  Those servers are good at what they do–primarily, they’re good at making certain you have your margarita on the rocks and in your hand before the film starts.

But one Saturday every month they offer a free movie to kids with special needs.  Their siblings watch for free, too.  Parents and caregivers pay just $5.  I know that other theaters sometimes offer a similar service, and I think that can be a great option for a lot of families.  But SMG just knocked my socks off this time.

We saw Beauty & the Beast last weekend.  There were far more wheelchair/stroller accessible seats than a traditional movie theater, for one.  The theater lights were left on during the featured presentation, presumably so that we could more easily keep an eye on our kiddos but also to avoid alarming children who have struggle with being in the dark.  The volume of the movie was dialed down a notch or two–we had no trouble hearing the movie, and  yet did not bust an ear drum when the Beast roared his greatest PMS’y roar–sweet.  The servers didn’t hesitate to serve families with children who were disruptive, loud, made repetitive noises, threw tantrums, required electric suction or who otherwise acted like children.

Food prices were a little higher than you might find at a nearby restaurant, but a nearby restaurant also is not showing films.  Fountain drinks set me back $3 each, but we enjoyed free (and speedy) refills for the duration of the movie.

It was such a great experience for the kids, and for the parents.  You can’t beat the price.  If you parent a special needs child, check to see if you have a Studio Movie Grill in your ‘hood.  It is absolutely worth checking out, and the monthly special needs showings all but free.  Maybe it’s even more worth checking out if you can book some respite care and drag your husband out for a cosmo and to see the latest Jason Statham movie–at the same time.

You’re welcome.


SMG has no idea who I am or that I was their guest on any day, ever.  I paid the same price as everyone else for our movie experience and received nothing from anyone for writing this post.  I just think that they offer such a great service to the special needs community and if my mother had to be the person to tell me about them then their PR could use a swift kick in the derriere.  Maybe someone could tell them I wrote this, and I could get a free margarita–on the rocks–delivered to my seat the next time I go there.  I’d be cool like Fonzie if that happened, no worries.  I’m a cheap date.


Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at