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The last Monday every May is set aside for Memorial Day, a time to remember those who died while serving in America’s armed forces. The holiday traces its roots all the way back to the Civil War, but given the current state of the world, it’s just as important as ever. Today, to honor those who served, one Indiana movie theater is staging a screening of American Sniper, though with special accommodations for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the Cinemark Movies 6 theater in Mishawaka, Indiana is hosting a so-called "sensory-sensitive showing" of director Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning war film for veterans who could react negatively to what they see on screen and hear over the theaters normally booming speaker system.

Being a movie that deals with war in a realistic manner, American Sniper is full of sights and sounds that could trigger traumatic responses from those whose nerves are raw from their experiences overseas. To prevent this, the theater will dim the lights, but not go to full darkness, and the sound, especially that of gunfire and even things like loading of weapons, will be turned down.

Terra Jackson, the managers of the theater, says the idea was brought to them by:
a party that wanted to remain anonymous, [a local veteran who] really wanted to see this movie but couldn't just because of sensory overload.

American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal, the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. With 255 confirmed kills on his record, he returned home, but, marked as his was by his time in war, was never able to entirely acclimate and readjust to regular civilian life. Full of intense, realistic scenes of combat, there are numerous moments, even with the more subdued sensory experience, that could potentially trigger anxiety, and a local veteran’s center will have counselors available on sight in the event that they are needed.

Once the idea was proposed, it was almost a no-brainer. Cinemark regularly hosts similar sensory-sensitive screenings for autistic members of the community, and as the biggest concerns are with the theaters being so dark and so loud, the management says that is an easy enough fix. With the lights left on, it will enable the viewers to keep a firm grasp on their surroundings and what is going on around them, while decreasing the volume will help cut startle responses, especially in the instances of sudden, unexpected explosions or gunfire.

Before the showing today there will also be a performance of the National Anthem, and a group of students from a local junior ROTC unit will present the colors before the hit film.

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