Medicinema nurses look after the patients and the Medicinema complexes including those at the St Thomas' Hospital in London, England, South Gwent Children's Centre in Newport, Wales, Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court. The cinemas are made wheelchair accessible and the majority allow for beds to be wheeled in for the viewing.
MediCinema is a charity that screens films for patients during their hospital stay. For instance, since 1999, St Thomas' Hospital in London, England has shown films regularly in a cinema that seats 100 people and can accommodate 10 wheelchairs and 6 beds. It has a big screen and Dolby surround sound and shows films for adults and children, including family members. It allows patients to leave their wards and provides entertainment that lightens their spirits. Film distributors often make films available to MediCinema before the films have been released for the general public, for fund-raising and MediCinema viewings, such Die Another Day, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Skyfall. The cinema is free to the patients, care-givers and families, with MediCinema nurses providing medical supervision during the screenings.
Other early hospital cinemas were implemented in Serennu Children's Centre in Newport and Royal Hospital for Sick Children, also known as Yorkhill Children's Hospital, in Glasgow. The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow's cinema was built in a renovated lecture theatre and serves patients in wheelchairs and beds.
The Royal British Legion MediCinema was opened at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court on September 27, 2012 for people in the military service who had sustained injuries. Funding of up to ₤420,000 for the "fully digital, 3D" cinema was provided by The Royal British Legion, and additional monies were provided by Medicinema supporters, such as actor Simon Pegg who attended the opening. The complex is intended to screen films up to 3 times per week in the 50 seat, wheelchair accessible cinema. It can also be used to view sports and other programmes and as a big screen game console. The Health and Welfare Director at the Royal British Legion, Sue Freeth, stated "Rehabilitation is not only a huge physical challenge, but involves recuperating mentally as well. This excellent new facility will assist our brave Service personnel in doing just that."
MediCinema is partnering with 3D technologies RealD to equip hospital cinemas with ReadD 3D. They have worked together on the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Center at Headley Court and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow. London's Guy's Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital will also receive cinemas with RealD Cinema technology. The existing St. Thomas' Hospital MediCinema in London will also be outfitted with RealD 3D.
Beyond the entertainment value of leaving isolated hospital wards to view films, it is increasingly believed that patient's recovery is improved by viewing "feel-good" films, or ones that make the patient laugh.
"Laughter is the best medicine and we intend to administer it through cinema. This is a superb initiative which I'm sure will do a great deal to boost patients' motivation to get well," said Dr. Alan Maryon-Davis, a top health consultant.
MediCinema receives its funding from corporate sponsors, fund-raising events, grants, and sponsorship.[nb 1] Early supporters included Pearl & Dean, a cinema advertising firm; Warner Village; and UGC Cinemas. Pearl and Dean's fundraising provided the monies to open the cinema at the Yorkhill Children's Hospital. Warner Village and UGC screened commercials with Ewan McGregor for MediCinema, to raise ₤250,000 for the construction of the cinema complex at the Royal Children's Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland's largest children's hospital. McGregor is one of the organisation's patrons.
It has been named by British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) as the film industry's charity. Kate Winslet, Ewan McGregor and Dame Helen Mirren are just a few of the patrons of MediCinema.
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- Martin Williams (20 July 2006). "First hospital cinema to open in autumn.". The Herald (Herald & Times Group).
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- "New MediCinema to Help Rehabilitation at Headley Court". States News Service (accessed via HighBeam Research). 17 May 2013.
- Stuart Kemp (28 February 2013). "RealD Parners with U.K. Charity MediCinema". Hollywood Reporter.
- Rupert Hamer (4 January 1998). "Coming Soon To A Hospital Near You...". Sunday Mirror (London, England: MGN Ltd).
- "Our Patrons". MediCinema. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Our Supporters". MediCinema. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Michael Lee Powell (2008). Cinematherapy as a Clinical Intervention: Theoretical Rationale and Empirical Credibility. ProQuest. ISBN 978-0-549-96406-3.