The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) that entitles a disabled person to an additional complimentary ticket for an accompanying person who can offer them assistance. To get the free ticket, the disabled person needs to purchase a full price ticket for the same performance of the same film in the same auditorium.
The Card is developed by UKCA’s Disability Working Group, whose members include film exhibitors and distributors, and national disability charities such as Action on Hearing Loss, the RNIB, Dimensions and Muscular Dystrophy UK.
The scheme was introduced in 2004 to provide a way for cinemas to make what are termed ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled guests who might need assistance whilst visiting the cinema. This assistance might include:
- helping you move around the cinema including finding and taking a seat;
- helping you leave the cinema in the event of an emergency;
- accompanying and/or helping you use the cinema’s toilets;
- Helping you buy refreshments.
Approximately 90% of cinemas in the UK accept the card. Search the list of Participating Cinemas..
Who is eligible for a card?
Eligibility criteria may be updated from time to time. The cardholder should be in receipt of:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Attendance Allowance (AA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
- Severely Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Registered Blind)
- Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Partially Sighted)
If you are unable to find this correspondence, or do not meet the above criteria but believe that as a result of your disability you still need someone to accompany you to the cinema, an appeal procedure is available. The licence conditions placed on cinemas by local authorities generally require children under the age of 8 to be accompanied so for that reason, Cardholders must be 8 years of age or older.
What is on the card?
The Card contains:
- a photograph of the Cardholder;
- the name of the Cardholder;
- the Card expiry date;
- a unique Card number which allows the Card to be validated, for example, when pre-booking tickets or at the box office;
- a location notch to aid use by blind or partially sighted Cardholders;
- a reflective holofoil CEA emblem.
- a braille label (on request).
The Card is valid for 1 year from the date of issue and cost £6.00 per year.
What eligibility documents are needed to support the application?
- If you receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP), you will need to send a copy of the awarding letter from DWP or statement confirming receipt of the allowance for the person requiring assistance.
- Alternatively, for Severely Sight Impaired (formerly Registered Blind) or Sight Impaired (formerly Partially Sighted) then a photocopy of certification for the person needing assistance is required.
A recent photo that is a true likeness of the Card holder is also required but it does not have to be an official passport photograph, as long as it shows head and shoulders clearly and is of good quality. If you’re applying online, you could take a ‘selfie’ with your camera phone or tablet, and upload that.
Where should I send my payment?
If you have chosen to send your payment by post, please send a cheque for £6.00 made payable to CEA Card to: CEA Card, PO Box 199, Deeside CH5 9BW. Make sure you include your name and application reference .
How to apply for a CEA card for a child
If a child is between 8 and 16 years of age, an application needs to be made on their behalf. They will be the card holder as they are the person requiring the care so the card will be printed in their name. You must hold parental responsibility to apply on their behalf – i.e. you will be their parent, nominated guardian or legally represent them as such. Proof of eligibility is the name of the child, not the Parent’s name. . E.g. if the child receives Personal Independent Payment and the Parent’s receive Carer’s Allowance, it is the child’s Personal Independent Payment document that is required.
Apply or Renew
Find out which cinemas near you accept the CEA Card, and more about accessible screenings.
90% of cinemas in the UK are part of the CEA Card Scheme. A list of the websites for the cinema chains is available for reference.
Find local CEA Card participating cinemas using our postcode search tool.
Search for information and listings of Audio Described to Subtitled and Autism Friendly Screenings. You can also use the site to find about access at your local cinema.