Movie Theaters Roll Out Enhanced Disability Access
The world’s largest movie theater chain is working to improve the moviegoing experience for people with disabilities.
AMC Theatres says it will offer on-screen captions for showings of the latest movies at 240 theater locations in more than 100 markets across the nation.
The offering will be available in any area where there are at least two AMC-owned theaters, the company said.
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There will be select showings with what are known as open captions each week for every newly released film. Currently, AMC said open caption showings are available at a variety of times including matinees and evenings on both weekdays and weekends, though that could change depending on demand and customer feedback.
AMC’s CEO Adam Aron described the new offering as permanent and called it “a real advance for those with hearing difficulties or where English is a second language,” in a posting on Twitter.
Aron noted that the widespread availability of open caption screenings comes ahead of the release of “Eternals.” The new Marvel film, which opens Nov. 5, features Lauren Ridloff who is deaf and plays the franchise’s first deaf superhero.
AMC already provided closed captioning where moviegoers can request a special device to view captions while they watch a film. Those devices will continue to be available at all of the company’s locations.
“By adding open captions to the variety of presentation formats we offer, AMC locations become a more welcoming place for millions of Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as many for whom English is not their native language,” said Elizabeth Frank, executive vice president of worldwide programming and chief content officer at AMC. “Initial consumer response has been very positive, and we anticipate strong demand with growing awareness of open caption showtimes at AMC.”
Open caption showings are available starting this week. AMC said moviegoers can easily search for open caption showtimes on the company’s website and app.