Shirley Lewis is a 68-year-old woman who adores the Mamma Mia films and also suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
So when a fellow movie-goer expressed their disapproval of the woman loudly singing along to Mamma Mia 2, the theater stepped up to the plate by hosting an entire showing of the film just for people with dementia.
Lewis had gone to the Cineworld movie theater in Cwmbran, Wales to see the film with her daughter Rhiannon last month. The senior was so delighted by the music, she started singing along to all of the ABBA tunes in the film.
Unfortunately, some other spectators were not as thrilled by Lewis’s enthusiasm. The people sitting behind Lewis and her daughter in the cinema started “huffing, puffing and tutting” over her participation.
Rhiannon was made so uncomfortable by the people’s noises, she ended up leaving the theater with her mother.
“At the time, I was empathetic to the other guests in the cinema, however on reflection I really wish I had told that lady so that she could have learnt her lesson in front of a room full of strangers,” Rhiannon told South Wales Argus.
“My mum was really sad. She did not want to leave the cinema,” she added.
Rhiannon posted about the event on Facebook and expressed her frustration that her mother was not able to fully enjoy the film.
The post was shared hundreds of times until it was eventually seen by the staff at Cineworld. The theater not only offered free tickets to Rhiannon and her mother, they also hosted an entire screening for people with dementia and offered discounted tickets.
Over 100 excited participants showed up for the event. Additionally, all of the proceeds from the screening were donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.
“The event means a lot to us as a family,” Rhiannon happily told the news outlet. “The screening of the film should now raise awareness of dementia and teach people more about it.”