Migraine Hacks: A Movie Theatre with Fewer Triggers
Have you ever been in a dark movie theatre when your revery is broken by someone nearby who has taken out a cell phone? Even if he isn’t using the phone to make a call, the danged light is so bright in an otherwise dark room it’s like a laser to my eyeballs (I even wrote about this phenomenon here).
Already the lights of the screen in front of the theatre are flashy and bright—this is especially true for an action movie. I will never forget the terrible migraine I got after seeing The Hunger Games a couple summers ago—it’s a great movie (and an even better book), but the shaky camera and frequent light changes made for a crappy migraine for me.
And don’t even get me started on the sounds! I swear movies have gotten louder and louder over the years, particularly in multiplexes (smaller theaters seem to have a more realistic take on what kind of volume patrons need). I always carry earplugs with me to the movie theatre just in case the noise is too loud (previews and commercials are especially bad).
I have daydreamed about a movie theatre where the migraine triggers could be toned down a bit. Imagine the pleasant surprise I had the day I learned about what our local art house theatre, Athens Ciné, is doing: Ciné Baby. According to their website, here’s what “Ciné Baby” is all about:
Ciné presents a new series of special shows designed just for new moms and dads and their babies! With soft lighting, lowered sound, stroller parking, and a changing table right in the screening room, parents and caregivers can enjoy a grown-up movie -- not a children's film -- without having to find a babysitter or worry about a fussy little one disturbing other filmgoers.
I bet you other migraineurs out there can read my mind right now. Soft lighting? Lowered sound? SIGN ME UP!
Very frequently I think about little tweaks I would like to make to places or experiences to make them more migraineur-friendly. For instance, why in the world does the neurologist’s office have low ceilings with fluorescent lighting when we all know that fluorescent lighting triggers migraine attacks and corresponds with a decrease in productivity? Why do businesses use enough air freshener to make any sane person keel over? If only someone would hire me to walk around and tell folks how to make their environments more migraineur-friendly!
I probably won’t be going to any Ciné Baby screenings soon (unless I’m with a friend who has a kid), but I sure do love the idea as it relates to parents/caregivers and migraineurs (even if Ciné never intended for other folks to find their idea appealing).
Are there any events or initiatives in your area that were created for one audience (say, families with babies) but that are a really good fit for you as a migraine sufferer? Tell us about them!
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?