×

Fathom Events to Launch ‘Nutcracker’ Performances for Autistic Customers

Fathom Events is partnering with the Autism Society of America to bring alternative content to autistic customers, starting with the Bolshoi Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 19, Variety has learned exclusively.

The one-night, sensory-friendly event — which mirrors AMC’s nine-year-old program — provides for the lights to be raised and the audio lowered. Audiences will not be expected to stay quiet or in their seats, so those on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable in the movie theater, allowing patrons to dance along with the ballerinas on screen, shout, sing, move around the room and express themselves however they like.

Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains on weeknights, is co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group. Fathom CEO John Rubey and the Autism Society’s Matthew Asner told Variety that the companies began working on their collaboration last year and plan to offer several similar live-performance events in 2017.

The Nutcracker” will be captured live from the Bolshoi stage in Moscow and shown in 26 U.S. locations. The content is provided by BY Experience and Pathé Live.

“Our hope is that families and children with all kinds of special needs can now go to the movie theater and feel comfortable being themselves,” Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “We want to share the world of event cinema with everyone, and sensory-friendly screenings are another way we can provide access to a variety of audiences.”

Fathom screened the animated “Batman: The Killing Joke,” which grossed $3.8 million, on the last Monday and Tuesday of July. Other notable Fathom titles include “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary,” “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith,” “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts,” and the anti-global warming documentary “Climate Hustle” with Sarah Palin participating in the post-screening discussion.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with Fathom Events to bring the production of ‘The Nutcracker’ shown in sensory responsive theaters to families and individuals impacted by autism this holiday season,” said Scott Badesch, president, Autism Society of America.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

  • Why Hollywood Should Tone Down Violence

    Why It's Time for Hollywood to Reconsider the Amount of Violence on Screen (Column)

    To put it mildly, we live in scary, intolerant, violent times. Since a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself, there have been at least 2,187 mass shootings across America, resulting in the deaths of some 2,461 people and wounding more than [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    James Bond Movie Title Revealed

    The latest James Bond adventure finally has a title. The 25th entry in the action spy series will be named “No Time to Die.” In the upcoming movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA [...]

  • IFC Midnight Buys Brighton Sharbino Survival

    IFC Midnight Buys Survival Thriller 'Radioflash' (EXCLUSIVE)

    IFC Midnight has acquired U.S. rights to “Radioflash,” a survival thriller starring Dominic Monaghan and Brighton Sharbino, Variety has learned. The company will release the movie on Nov. 15. The film imagines a dystopian future, one in which an electric-magnetic pulse strikes America, knocking out all the power and pushing the country into the Dark [...]

  • Lee-Daniels-headshot

    Lee Daniels Entertainment Announces Diverse Creative Workshop

    Lee Daniels Entertainment and the online entertainment network Represent by OMV have launched a diversity-focused creative workshop to promote a diverse group of new writers. The workshop will be held from Sept. 25-28 in Los Angeles, with travel provided by American Airlines. Industry professionals will mentor aspiring creatives from underrepresented communities with workshops, meetings with [...]

  • Peter Fonda Obit Remembered

    Remembering Peter Fonda, Indie Revolutionary and Counterculture Icon (Column)

    Captain America has died. Not the spandex-clad Marvel superhero, but counterculture poster boy Peter Fonda, who shook up Hollywood and revolutionized the country’s sense of itself by co-writing, producing and starring in “Easy Rider” 50 years ago this summer — the same summer depicted in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” Culture [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content