CINEMA-goers scooped up the chance to give their backing to a charity drive.
Hundreds of people who went along to watch screenings at the Sunderland Empire cinema took part in Ben & Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day, which has become a global event where millions of scoops of ice cream are given away.
The cinema nominated North East Autism Society (NEAS) to support in recognition of World Autism Awareness Month to help them raise the profile of the services they provide to families living with autism throughout the region.
Cinema manager Anish Patel said: “We are proud to be teaming up with Ben & Jerry’s to raise money and awareness of the fantastic work the North East Autism Society do.
“We gave away a free scoop of ice cream to anyone that came along and all we asked was that they leave a donation of whatever they could for North East Autism Society.’’
The cinema has launched an autism-friendly screening on every second Sunday of the month so families can see the latest releases in a comfortable environment.
Lisa Taylor, senior marketing officer for NEAS, said: “We can’t thank Empire Cinema enough for their support.”