Marilyn Monroe Joins Dementia Friendly Film Screening

Marilyn Monroe attended a special screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the historic Hailsham Pavilion cinema last week.

It was the finale of the 2016 season of Dementia-Friendly Film screenings and Marilyn Monroe look-alike, professional actress Suzy Harvey was there to interact wMarilyn Monroeith the audience as the story progressed, adding to the enjoyment and hopefully reviving many memories.

“I hope by encouraging the audiences to join in we are able to improve people’s quality of life through creativity, reminiscence and laughter,” said Suzy, who has worked with people with dementia for many years. “While the films provide a focus for memory, the participation makes for a much more engaging experience for all members of the audience.”

The final Dementia-Friendly Film screening of 2016 will be the Bing Crosby classic White Christmas at Hailsham Pavilion on Friday 16 December.

The 2017 Dementia–Friendly Film screenings begin again on 20 January with Blue Hawaii, and this time Suzy will be taking the part of the King himself, Elvis, for the interaction. Other screenings next year are:

24 February – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 
24 March -Top Hat
21 April – Easter Parade
26 May – On the Town
23 June – High Society

All screenings begin at 2pm.

The film screenings are just one in a number of activities provided by the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance, which has been set up with the support of the Wealden Strategic Partnership’s Strong Resilient Communities Fund. Since it was launched in May, the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance has held meetings across the District with dementia groups in Uckfield and Herstmonceux and is planning further meetings in Polegate, Crowborough, Hailsham, and Rotherfield with the aim of setting up forums where carers and supporters can raise issues and provide better training opportunities.

“The Dementia-Friendly Film sessions are just part of the work being undertaken by the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance as it reaches out to help people with dementia and their carers across the District,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety. “There are many different types of dementia and so much can be achieved through education, support and training to reassure people so that they can continue to live an active life and remain as independent as possible.”

Further details of the 2017 season of Dementia Friendly Films in Wealden can be found on the Council’s website:

The screenings are supported the Film Audience Network, Film Hub South East and the Hailsham Pavilion.