Friday Night at the Movies

Last night we took Joshua to see the new Mary Poppins film at the local cinema. He was excited to be heading out in the dark as this was a rare night out, not seen since Christmas Eve when we went to the carol service I think. We walked either side of him from the car park, with our arms linked as we whisked him along. As I collected the pre-ordered tickets from the machine, my husband waited in the lift for me with Joshua. He was not good at waiting and he kicked the lift until I joined them and we could go upstairs to the screens. He rushed around the cafe bar area while my husband bought us some sweets and I began to wonder if we had made a mistake, how would we be able to keep this lively teenager still for over two hours.

The theatre was not full and so we sat in the most convenient seats , close to the front, rather than climbing the stairs and squeezing along a row unnecessarily. The large screen and the loud sound quality worked its magic and during the adverts he was mesmerised, while tucking into wine gums and popcorn. As the film started, he was excited and kept waving at the large faces on the screen in front if him. He watched most of the film I would say, only around the middle did he snuggle onto my shoulder for a nap, but he woke again and picked up where he left off. He never once tried to stand up and leave, in fact we even stayed and watched all the many credits at the end, and so I consider that cinema visit to be a success.

We three walked next door, arm in arm again, to  a pizza bar where we shared a giant pizza and chips as it was 8pm by the time we leaved the cinema. Still Joshua was happy and waving. We got home around 9.15, which was a late night for him, and we all felt as though we had had a treat. Our previous cinema trips have been less as a whole family, perhaps the last time was when we saw Madagascar three times, on holiday in Canada. As usually I take Joshua with me, while my husband sees some action thriller on another screen. So this was a fun adventure and was certainly very nostalgic of the original Mary Poppins of our childhood, so we all three enjoyed it very much.

I expect that our next family cinema trip will be in July when a new non-animated version of The Lion King is being released. We saw a preview of it last night and Joshua sat up tall , glued to the screen when the familiar music and lines came out of the speakers and the CGI animals looked incredible. So we will definitely be back for that familiar delight in the Summer, as nothing about taking Joshua to the pictures last night put me off repeating the family experience.



Joshua’s Big Night Out

We had a lazy day in the garden yesterday, reading in the sun, so we were ready to play out last night so we went to the cinema. I know that there are special autism-friendly screenings, but we are fortunate enough not to require them as the worst that Joshua can do is fall asleep generally in the warm, dark comfy chairs! Joshua and I went to see ‘Finding Dory’, while my husband saw a different film that started at a similar time, and true to form we had eaten our popcorn before the advertisements had even finished.

When Joshua was younger, he used to get very excited about going to the movies, so much so that we saw ‘Madagascar’ three times on holiday in Canada when he was 6! I think it was the huge screen and the loud soundtrack that he enjoyed.  But he played it much cooler nine years later last night, until we were in our seats near the front, where he began knocking his knees together – always a happy response – and he gazed intently at the huge screen in front of him. He sat still in his seat for 2.5 hours and only had a brief nap of ten minutes, when he rested his head on his knees, and he shouted out ‘Monkey!’ when he awoke, so I would consider that to be a great success. We stayed until the end of the credits, as he likes to do, to enjoy the music and added animation, and were treated to a bonus part of the film which everyone else in the theare missed.

We waited in the foyer for Joshua’s Dad, who had also enjoyed his film, and we went to an italian restaurant for a late evening meal, as it was now 9pm. Again Joshua behaved beautifully, enjoying his big night out, and he happily devoured his lasagne. We were too full to face the tiramisu , so declined a dessert and came home. He was still perky when he got back and I even wondered if he would settle in bed but we had no trouble at bedtime and he slept through until 5am this morning when he woke up calling out ‘Monkey!’ once again.

I suspect that it was a successful night out because we had not expected too much of Joshua during the day : he had enjoyed his usual midday lie in, and once dressed, he had not left the house all day but had enjoyed a homely, laid back day, so he was more than ready to be more entertained by the evening.