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Published By Beth Lueders on March 22, 2016

America’s seniors are filling movie theaters in record numbers to watch Hollywood’s mature actors reinvent themselves on the big screen. The resurgence of 60-plus cinema stars is attracting box office dollars, and America’s seniors are settling in with their buckets of popcorn.

Film producers are increasingly casting legendary actors and actresses in major roles and applauding older directors like Clint Eastwood and Dustin Hoffman. Senior Michael Keaton helped “Birdman” win a Best Picture Oscar in 2015 and headlined the 2016 Best Picture-nominated “Spotlight.” In 2015, Dame Maggie Smith repeated her role from the original movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (2012) showcasing a band of British pensioners nesting in India.

The 2014 Oscar Best Picture nominees included “Philomena” starring a 79-year-old Judi Dench, and “Nebraska” featuring elder celebrities, Best Supporting Actress nominee June Squib and Best Actor nominee Bruce Dern. “Amour,” tracing the life of an octogenarian couple, won a 2013 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. From chick-flicks to rom-coms, Hollywood veterans are wooing America’s older generation. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro always deliver stellar performances. Or who can forget iconic Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher returning to the Star Wars series?

While younger viewers take to their tablets and TV to download films, senior moviegoers enjoy their cinema experience in large part because they have the money and free time, and value getting out of the house.

As the silver-haired flock to the silver screen, here are a few multiplex tips:

  • Arrive early so you can choose seats that are most comfortable. Front-row seats may bother your neck. Seats too far back may be a challenge for your eyes.
  • Cane, walkers and wheelchairs are allowed in theaters. Plan around the steps to seats.
  • Be aware of safety exits and keep your cellphone silenced but near.
  • Spot the location of the nearest bathrooms and go easy on the bladder-buster drinks.

Why do you enjoy going to the movies?

An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.


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