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Gateway Named Columbus’ First Age-Friendly Business

Hope Madden Hope Madden Gateway Named Columbus’ First Age-Friendly BusinessMayor Andrew Ginther names Columbus' first age-friendly business: Gateway Film Center.
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“We’re looking at it through the lens of older adults because our 65-plus population is projected to double in the next 20 years,” she says. “But we call it ‘age-friendly,’ not ‘old-age-friendly,’ because any of the improvements that we make to our city will actually benefit individuals of all ages and abilities.”

Via smaller, community-based non-profits, the Age-Friendly project organized pilots with GFC to enhance seniors’ socializing opportunities.

“Gateway Film Center launched a program a few months ago with At Home By High called Age-Friendly Screenings,” says Alexander Davis, Director of Development at Gateway Film Center. “The purpose of Age-Friendly Screenings was to create an inclusive and accessible space where seniors could attend movies together in concert at the film center.”

“We worked to create a model similar to our Sensory-Friendly Films model, where we consider seniors’ comfort and ease in navigating the theater,” Davis says. “We keep the lights on a bit, we keep the sound down a little bit and try to pair screenings with other activities: meet-ups in the Torpedo Room and relevant guest speakers, that sort of thing.”

The program runs the last Tuesday of every month, featuring a film already screening at the center.

“We choose a film that makes sense from what we have onscreen already,” says Davis, citing Paris Can Wait and Murder on the Orient Express as recent entries.

“We want to offer a variety of first-run commercial titles with our retro programming that matches our maverick mix of movies,” he says.

The day of the week was just as strategic a choice.

“We decided this should fall on a Tuesday so that it aligns with our Super Tuesday,” Davis explains. “All tickets are $5, mindful of seniors on a fixed income or on a tight budget.”

We strive to be welcoming and inclusive for all of our screenings all day every day.

“They are the first age-friendly business in town,” says White, “meaning that they are inclusive, they’re accessible, they offer discounted tickets and special programming specifically for older adults.”

“It’s in line with the film center’s commitment to welcome inclusivity, accessibility,” says Davis.

For more information on Age-Friendly Columbus, visit their website.

For tickets to Gateway Film Center’s Age-Friendly Series, visit gatewayfilmcenter.org.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her podcasts THE SCREENING ROOM and FRIGHT CLUB.

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