The Autism Society of America, Santa Barbara Chapter is bringing families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment.

The first sensory-friendly family film will premiere at 11 a.m. Saturday with a special showing of the new film Madagascar 2, at the Fiesta 5 Theater, 916 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It often comes with sensory challenges, such as hypersensitivity to light or sound, and children or adults affected by autism may not understand the social boundaries of movie theater etiquette, such as not talking during the film or sitting still through most of the show.

In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, and families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks.

Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing.

Tickets are $6.50 at the theater and can be purchased on the day of the event.

Marcia Eichelberger is president and Sandy Shove is vice president of the Autism Society of America, Santa Barbara Chapter.