Monday, September 19, 2011

My Local "Accessible" Movie Theaters

I received a comment on my post Different Perspectives from Mickey, who lives in the UK. I replied to it on the post but wanted to write a post about this topic. Here is the comment:
Hello Megan
Great blog and interesting stuff here - just found your site. 
I was surprised by you saying "I'd really like to go see David Tennant in Fright Night, but am I going to be able to understand him?" 
In the UK we have captioned Cinema and I've set up a website to list all captioned Cinema in North West of England see 
Surely with ADA you have captioned movies in the USA? Or are they just difficult to find or show so few films? 
I don't go to the movies often but I decided to take a look at my 3 local theaters to see what they have to offer.

Harkins Theatres has an Open Captioned link on their front page but the only message on the link is "There are no open captioned films currently playing." I mostly go to Harkins when I go to the movies but I have to say their attitude about captioning movies has frustrated me pretty often.

AMC Theatres is not that close to me but I go there pretty often when I do go to the movies. Their movies are listed under the Assisted Moviegoing link. Currently the only movie they are showing with "Closed Caption" is The Help. It is only showing in one location within 40 miles of me, in Glendale, Arizona.

Finally, Dickinson Theatres recently opened a location near me. They do not have a link specifically for accessible showtimes and none of the showtimes indicate Open Captioning.

I do think Dickinson has open captioning because my in-laws went to see The Help and accidentally saw an open captioned showing. I don't think they put them as part of their official showtimes on the website or as part of the board you see when you go to the theater.

In April of 2010 it was ruled that the ADA covers closed captioning at movies. Captioning falls under the heading of "auxiliary aids and services" to people. There is some debate over whether open-captioned movies fall under this ruling and I haven't heard much about the case since then.

I do wish theaters would do more for captioned movies. I don't like having to figure out what accents actors have just to have an expectation of whether or not I'll be able to understand a movie. And I don't like having to patronize locations that don't consider what I would prefer as a customer, Harkins especially. For awhile it looked like Harkins was getting better about providing captioned movies, but I haven't seen one available in a long time.

I think captioned movies fall under the heading of things people do not think about until they actually need them.

Are captioned movies available where you are located?


  1. Open captioned movies in Surprise and about them in Deaf Cactus News:


  2. Yes, thanks Donna! I haven't been to the movie theaters in years because of my hearing loss, and I love movies.

  3. Where is the "Assisted Moviegoing link" located on the AMC website? I haven't been able to find it.


  4. Check out for accessible movie listings!


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