A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

A Night at the Movies

In Accommodations for Deaf, Assistive Listening Devices, Closed Captioning, Hearing aids, Hearing Loss on November 25, 2014 at 10:40 pm


By: Sara Lundquist

Yesterday a group I am part of, The Say What Club, had the topic of going to the movies. What seems like such a fun past time to many can seem like a waste of money to some, me included. Why, simply because why would I want to pay upwards of $10 to sit and watch a movie miss half or more of the dialog and sit and think why did I go to the movies. Which in turn makes it more than a year since I have done just that.

What we were talking about with the Say What Club was closed captioning at the movies. I think this would be wonderful. I love watching movies but it is done at home either Netflix or a rented movie and the captions are always on. I enjoy having the sound streamed to my hearing aids but I still need the captions to get what I miss. I need to fill in the blanks. My family is used to the words on the bottom of the screen. My son is behind in the reading game so maybe the captions will help some or he isn’t as behind as he could be.

The next obstacle is where to go for captions. I am in a small rural town but very lucky we have a theater in town. It is a one screen but upgraded to digital theatre. Our theater does have assistive listening devices but I tried once and it didn’t do anything different then my hearing aids in fact I don’t think it was as much gain as I am used to. Great for someone with less of a hearing loss but I need the captions. Our next theater is 30 miles away and I contacted them and the person I talked to wasn’t sure they had them. Well that isn’t encouraging. I have heard there is captioning at one theater that is 1.5 hours away. Is that really accommodating the deaf and hard of hearing population that I need to drive 1.5 hours away to watch a movie. Just doesn’t seem fair. Maybe a price to pay of living in a rural area, or maybe an oversight that this needs to be offered.

After all this discussing on the topic of movies yesterday I went to a movie last night. It has been a long time since I have been to our local theater. My daughter wanted me to go with her to the new Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1. We went on our mom and daughter date and it was fun. I thought an action movie I don’t need to hear the words it will be nonstop action like the other two movies in the series. Not quite right with this movie. Lots of dialog and I missed over half of it I am sure. I didn’t fully enjoy the movie aspect of the night but I loved accompanying my beautiful daughter to a film she had been looking forward to seeing. It was fun watching her be tense and jump at certain parts and just soak in the movie. There will be a day in the not too distant future that she won’t want to do this with mom so I will grab the chance now. I look forward to the day we can rent the movie and we can watch it at home. She will love to watch it again and I will love to watch it and “hear” the words.

This has been the week of movie talk. With the Say What Club, with my daughter and with a huge understanding between the HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America), Alexander Graham Bell, and Theater Owners of America that captions will be offered in all digital theaters starting in 2015. I was so excited when I read this, how exciting. Article from the LA Times. I wonder if this will take place in my neck of my woods. I wonder how long it will take. I wonder if there will be heels dug in and protest. I just wonder….

Take care all and as they sing in one of my favorite musicals, Annie….”LETS GO TO THE MOVIES, LETS GO TO THE SHOW….”

  1. Oh, how I can relate!! But I also love how you took advantage of an opportunity to engage in a memory with your daughter. Your time with her was more important than what you would get out of the movie and I just find that so inspiring. I try to do the same in my own life. Being hearing impaired means that sometimes we have to make a choice to put our personal frustrations aside and live in the moment because moments are precious. Blessings, Nina Blevins
    P.S. My son is taking me to see the Mockingjay Part 1 in theaters next week for my birthday present and I can’t wait!! Like you, I’ll watch it again on dvd when it comes it out to get all the dialogue with closed caption and that’s okay, too 🙂

  2. I read about 3-4 months ago that one of the big names in movies (AMC/Regal, can’t remember–they are starting a program to have closed captioning (you wear glasses and you can see captions, but all those other folks see a normal screen) available. It will take some time to get the gazillion theater outlets fixed up, but there is somewhere trying. I know I read about in Disabillity Scoop.

    Anniston is doing Wednesday night open captioning. Off the top of my head, I don’t know which one, but that is progress. I wrote Disney Cruise Line last year to thank them. Any movie they showed regular, they offered it again some other time with open captioning. That was very deliberate, and inclusive.

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