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More Movies

Seems like we have been taking our residents to the movie theater more lately because of the great selection of movies that are available. They've enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Queen, The King's Speech, and more in the theater. As activities director's this sounds like an easy outing to plan, but it usually is not. We like to plan programs in advance and put them onto our calendars with a specific date and time..... and they should be accurate, of course. But with most theaters, they do not announce their show times until the middle of the week for the upcoming week. Because of this, most of the announcements that I put out to sell a moving outing are an addition to the calendar, promoted usually with "time to be announced," and then followed up by phone calls to those signed up to tell them the correct bus departure time. It is more work than the average outing.
As an activities director, you can tell by the previews when something looks good for your resident population. You don't have to wait until it comes out on DVD to show it, just know that it is alright to have an addition to the calendar that does not have all the facts, because that is the nature of this kind of outing. It has taken me awhile to understand that I don't have to control every activity 4 weeks ahead of time in order to be successful.
Speaking about DVDs, I have been using DVDs that residents have loaned me for my Monday Matinee shows. They have been  The Great Courses series. These are educational in nature, with a professor speaking to us as if we are in the class room. Based upon the subject matter, they have been well attended. Subjects have included art historyAmerican history, World historymusic appreciation, etc.. The value of borrowing from residents is two-fold. First, if they own it, means that they are interested in the subject and most likely other residents will be too. I find this helpful because what interests me usually does not interest them because of our age difference.  And secondly, the series are expensive to buy. Saving money is always a plus in a non-profit organization looking to provide the most for less!
I do use Netflix to select my movies for the Friday night movie series. These movies are the types of movies you watch for entertainment, as apposed to the educational ones mentioned above. When searching for movies, I did find a whole lot more educational DVDs that I will be able to use on Mondays. In the upcoming year, I will be adding biographies and documentaries to the schedule. It will take a little bit more research and time on my part to put together a "series" that has a complete theme, but I think it will be nice for a change of pace. I don't know about you, but I rather see a "movie" and learn something than to sit in a room and be taught by a professor lecturing. Different people, different styles of learning, so.... it is time to mix it up.  
Can you add something new to your calendar this year? Can you acknowledge that as an activity director that you don't have to have all the details on your calendar at the beginning of the month to have a successful program? I know that you CAN!
Interested in reading more about movies in retirement communities? Here are other posts I've written:

Here is a link to find movies @Amazon that we've enjoyed 
I found a good and legal website to watch classic movies and documentaries on your computer, IPad, Iphone or Android device. Check out This would be great to have on a community Ipad that you can take from room to room for those needing that service 

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