how to get a free disability movie companion pass

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This is about how to get a free disability companion pass at a movie theatre.

I love going to the movies, and I love taking my kids to the movies.

I love everything about it: the experience of being excited to see something, the anticipation while waiting in line.

I love the comforting feel of questionable carpet.

I love the huge bathrooms and the thrill of seat selections (in the theatre; not the bathroom!) (okay, maybe the bathroom too?)

The only thing I don’t love about going to the movies are the prices.

Because we all know that it’s so expensive it’s ridiculous – especially in this day and age of streaming services.

That’s why I really appreciate the free disability companion pass that I can get at the movie theatre!

Free Disability Companion Pass at the Movie Theatre

Free Disability Companion Pass for the Movie Theatre

First of all, some of you might be wondering, “what is a disability companion pass?” – right?

Well, a disability companion pass is when the person who is accompanying the person with a disability gets a free pass to to see the same movie that the person with a disability is watching.

It’s offered, I suppose, because it’s assumed that those of us with a disability need help during a movie? I’m not sure, but I’ll take it if it means the movies will cost less!

In my family, the companion pass is kind of weird, because I am deaf, my daughter has Down syndrome and my son is on the Autism spectrum. I have the verification needed for three  of us to get in on a companion pass, but since I’m the only adult, I just say that I’m accompanying my daughter (and then I ask for the captioning glasses).

When the kids get older, my older son could be the companion for my daughter, and maybe my youngest son can be my companion, and that way we’ll get in, four for the price of two! But right now, it’s just me in on a companion pass for my daughter, even though I also have a disability.

Theatres That Offer a Free Disability Companion Pass

A lot of theatres offer these – not all, but a lot.

You need to contact the theatre you want to go to, to be sure that they offer it.

The Regal chain definitely does though.

Regal Theatres Offer a Free Companion Pass – the Regal Theatres “Disability Discount”

The Regal Theatre Chain, which is one of the largest in the United States, offers a free companion pass.

This is directly from their website (linked here)

ADA Seating & Companion Pass:

  1. Regal Entertainment Group theatres are handicap accessible. All seating designated as “handicapped” with the familiar wheelchair symbol is reserved for the disabled and their companions.
  2. Guests attending our theatres in an assistant/companion role for one of our guests with disabilities may be passed in by management.
  3. If you need assistance for any reason, please ask one of our theatre personnel for assistance.

So, if for any reason you come upon any hiccups when you are getting your companion pass, just pull up their website and show them where they say they will let you in on the pass.

I should also note that you do NOT need to sit in the accessible seating area if it doesn’t make sense for you to!

The access pass for a theatre companion isn’t only about wheelchair using movie lovers; it’s anyone with a disability. If you don’t use a wheelchair, you shouldn’t be sitting in that zone.

What Disabilities “Count” for a Companion Access Pass?

The Regal guidelines are pretty loose and broad, so I beg of you to not abuse the system.

I think the general rule of thumb is, if you can get a parking placard for your disability, and/or an IEP/504/IPE, SSI/SSDI, etc – if the disability causes some big major life turns and configurations – then IT COUNTS.

If The Theatre Says They Don’t Offer Companion Passes:

If a theatre says they don’t offer a companion pass when I ask, I usually ask for the manager and then I tell the manager that Regal offers it. I like to give businesses a chance to level up on each other.

I do the exact same thing, by the way, with captions, and I’ve also been known to call in the manager if my stroller wasn’t able to pass through easily (- the Double BOB stroller, which is what I used with the kids, is the exact width of a wheelchair, so if my stroller couldn’t pass through, it meant it wasn’t wheelchair accessible, which is totally bogus and unacceptable: ACCESS FOR ALL, yo!)

Since I love movies so much, watching them with my kids is my chosen way of talking about things with them.

I love watching something and then critiquing it with lenses of popular culture, genre, trope, stereotypes and just about everything else.

I don’t think my kids and I “go the movies” so much as we “chew on a movie” and I think it serves them well.

We’ve done a lot of critical thinking exercises through movies – remember the discussion questions I posted as an example of that, based on watching the movie Wonder with my kids?!

I’ve got a bunch of movie reviews linked below – please check them out!


More Movie Reviews!

More movies, reviewed! All related to disability
Peanut Butter Falcon Isn't For Everyone. Here's Why
3 Things About the Movie, "Wonder" (& Talking Points to Cover with Your Kids)
Netflix's "Special" Packs a Punch!
The Complete Guide to Down Syndrome Awareness Videos
Beyond Children of a Lesser God: 20+ Best Deaf Movies
The Interviewer: A Short Film Related to Down Syndrome
"Bird Box", a Movie with Blind Advantage, from a Deaf Perspective
"37 Seconds" Came Busting Out of Japan and Knocked Me Over
Wonder Woman and the Case of a Classic Trope Fail
Disabled Love Movies for You to Watch!
Shakespeare in Tokyo: A Short Film About a Man with Down Syndrome Pushes Boundaries

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  1. Michelle Woods says:

    I am having trouble locating any info on a companion pass on the regal website. How do you apply?

    1. You don’t apply! You just ask for the companion pass when you buy your ticket. I only buy tickets in person, so I just ask at the window for the companion pass.

  2. emmasaville says:

    hi, i have some disabilities.

  3. I only found out about this a year ago. My husband has had three stroke and is in a power chair. There’s not much to entertain him so this has been a blessing. I bought tickets for Cirque du Soleil and found they offer the same thing. We’ve been to two other productions not knowing this. Now I know it doesn’t hurt to ask at other venues.

    1. WOW! I had no idea that Cirque du Soleil offered a companion pass too! That is awesome! Thanks for sharing

  4. I’m on SSI need to watch movies please

  5. Luis Martinez says:

    It was very commendable of to tell readers to “not abuse the system”. It seems today’s society does exactly the opposite. I wish you and your children much health and happiness.

  6. Hi! My brother-in-law has Down Syndrome, and my spouse is his biggest advocate in the world. I would like to note that the reason there is a companion price is because, in the case of my brother-in-law, he may want to go to the movie, and his companion (who is hired to work with him) will then be required to attend the movie with him. It’s unreasonable for the companion to be expected to pay for every single thing my brother-in-law wants to do, so this is how we can ensure that my brother-in-law is able to DO the things that he wants to without worry of the financials for the person who works with him. (The equivalent would be if your office expected you to pay for your computer/desk/computer paperwork etc.) No hate, I just wanted to inform anyone who might need this info!

  7. What about a movie you expect to be full? I usually order those online ahead of time- is there a way to get an ADA companion pass in that instance? Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately not. Or at least, I haven’t found a way to get it online; only in person… 🙁

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