I haven’t enjoyed going to the movies for a while. I find the background soundtrack (the music or special effects) so loud it is painful, and the dialogue difficult to follow. I had gotten into the habit of waiting for a movie to be released on DVD or Netflix and watching it in the comfort of my own home, with the captions on and the volume set at a comfortable level. BUT I recently discovered captions at the movies! They are not available in all theaters or on all screens at theaters that offer captions, but I hope this becomes a new trend.
My experience was at a Loew’s theater in NYC. I saw the familiar closed captioning logo at the ticket counter and asked about it. I had inquired about it in the past, but the ticket agent never knew what it was. This time, the agent told me that if I went to the information desk upstairs, I could request a special caption reader that could be used at my seat for certain movies. Sounds good! My husband and I went straight to the information desk, and after a few attempts at explaining what we were looking for, someone was familiar with the readers and went to get one for me. They asked me to return it after the show, but did not take an ID or anything. I am guessing that was an oversight.
Well, it worked great! I had to hold it (it was not one of the cupholder ones) but that was fine, and I could position it so that I could see the screen and the captions at the same time. It reminded me of watching movies at home, but with a much bigger screen. I did turn my hearing aids down to combat the overzealous sounds of the special effects and soundtrack.
At the end of the movie, it was very quick to return the caption reader at the information desk and we were on our way. Several theater companies are offering captions currently, whether through a handheld device, a cupholder device or through caption glasses. I encourage everyone who needs help hearing at the movies to give one or more of these methods a whirl. For me, it has been nice to get back to the movies.
Readers, do you take advantage of captioning at the movies?