Glasgow Film Theatre successfully launch Dementia Friendly screenings

Image credit: Ingrid Mur 

Glasgow Film Theatre successfully launch Dementia Friendly screenings

In September 2016, Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) held a dementia friendly film screening at Dundasvale Residents Hall. With a focus on accessibility and bringing people together, a pop-up screening of the Gene Kelly classic Singin’ in the Rain was held, complete with a movie memories handling kit, kindly loaned from Glasgow Museums.

Following on from the success of this event, GFT was awarded funding from Life Changes Trust to launch a monthly dementia friendly cinema programme, Movie Memories. The programme is designed especially for people experiencing early to mid stages of dementia, their carers and / or families. The Movie Memories launch event, Whisky Galore!, took place at GFT on Thursday 19 October, as part of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival. The launch was a huge success with over 50 attendees.

Many people with a diagnosis of dementia fear that they will no longer be socially welcome, and stop taking part in activities they enjoy. The Movie Memories programme looks to address this with inclusive and friendly screenings, dementia friendly venue and dementia aware staff and volunteers.

Jodie Wilkinson, GFT’s Programme Engagement Coordinator commented, “A diagnosis of dementia should not ostracise people and so there is a social duty to make sure people still have the choice to engage. GFT is the first cinema in Glasgow to run this type of programme and we are working with a Movie Memories Coordinator, Agnes Houston – who was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. We are proud to offer people living with dementia, their families and/or carers, the choice to engage in coming to the cinema.”

Agnes Houston, MBE, GFT’s Movie Memories Coordinator, commented, “GFT projectionists have found the high and low spots of acoustics making it possible for me to enjoy the cinema experience for the first time in 10 years. Similarly with the lights being slightly brighter, I have no fear in getting around the cinema. Together, we found the barriers and then created solutions to make the GFT an enabling environment. Movie Memories means that I am included, and I am so looking forward to White Christmas.”

The Movie Memories programme will aim to reach over 1,700 people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families. Movie Memories continues in November with a screening of Britain on Film: Coast and Sea (Thu 23 Nov) and in December with White Christmas (Thu 21 Dec). Tickets are on sale now from or GFT Box Office. All tickets £3.00.

Additional photography:

For more information on any elements of the programme please contact Margaret Smith on 0141 352 8612 or at

Life Changes Trust was established by the Big Lottery Fund in April 2013 with a National Lottery grant of £50 million to support transformational improvement in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of two key groups in Scotland: people affected by dementia and care experienced young people

Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) is one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas. GFT plays an important part in the cultural life of Glasgow, screening a wide variety of international cinema, classic films and documentaries alongside locally made work and material aimed at a range of community groups. Glasgow Film Theatre was awarded Accessibility Champion at the SCoD Star Awards 2016 and became the first UK cinema to scoop the Autism Friendly Award 2017.


GFT is a registered charity and has a strong education programme of outreach, courses and school screenings. GFT is part of Glasgow Film, which also incorporates Glasgow Film Festival, one of the top three film festivals in the UK, Glasgow Youth Film Festival and Glasgow Short Film Festival. Glasgow Film Theatre is a charity registered in Scotland. No. SCO05932.


Image credit: Ingrid Mur