The experience of watching a movie in a cinema can be pretty exhilarating. However, we don’t know how frustrating it is for people with hearing issues who want to enjoy the large screen but are unable to understand what’s being said. With the availability of closed captions in movie theaters, this problem is solved effectively!
Even though many countries have taken long strides in making their cinematic experience accessible to everyone, much work is yet to be done. When it comes to making the cinema attainable for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, there are several options to choose from that allow them to enjoy the same pleasure as any other person!
The textual version of the audio under a video or movie is known as closed captions that can be turned on and off at the will of the audience. These closed captions are curated to help the cinema-goers who have hearing issues.
Closed captions represent the text of the speech as well as the non-speech gestures that characters in the video portray to make it even better for the audience. So, whether they laugh slowly, loudly, gasp or wail, all is presented through the efficiently created captions!
Closed Captions in Movie Theaters
For many years, going to the theater for people with hearing problems was a big fat No because if you don’t understand what’s being said on the screen, what’s the use of watching it? Fortunately, in recent years, there has been a lot of research and development in making movies captions for hearing impaired. Cinemas have also invented different ways to bring closed captions to deaf people for them to have a complete theater experience!
How it Works
There are many closed caption devices invented in recent years that cinemas use to provide people with captions. Yes, they need a little more work to make them comfortable. Following devices have been invented, let’s see how they work!
If you’ve ever trained as a spy, you can use one of the best mirror tricks the next time you visit the theater!
Captions of the movie are played at the back of the cinema. You are given a mirror that you can store in your cup holder. You are directed to adjust the mirror in a way that enables you to see the captions in your mirror. As you watch the movie, the closed captions are reflected the right way around in your mirror.
Closed Captioning Smart Glasses
Get your inner nerd out with these tech-savvy smart glasses!
A pair of wide tinted glasses are provided to you that is attached to a box with several wires. These glasses enable you to read the captions in a display at the bottom of the glasses. You wear the box around your neck. There are some disadvantages of these heavily wired glasses.
Closed Caption Stands
Did someone say VIP treatment?
A flexible long pole by your side that is attached to a small rectangular screen is provided to you. This screen is small enough that you can effortlessly insert it into your cup holder. The screen displays the captions for you, and you can also easily adjust the flexible pole to your liking.
Pro and Cons of these Methods
The main pro of all these devices is to provide people with hearing disabilities accessibility to a great cinematic experience. However, even though they are quite useful, they still make people quite uncomfortable.
Some of the cons of these devices include:
- The mirror trick is quite effective, but it requires quite a lot of neck-straining for the people that they keep glancing back and forth from the screen to their mirror in order to not miss a single thing.
- The numerous wires attached to the smart glasses sometimes tangle together, making it a very frustrating experience for the user.
- It is also hard for people who already wear glasses, so wearing an extra set of smart glasses makes it quite painful.
- The stands provide great caption devices, but the devices sometimes take time to start or glitch in between, making the person miss major parts of the movie.
- Sometimes the device also malfunctions that the users have to call on someone to fix their devices, again allowing them to miss sections of the movie.
- Sometimes the theatres forget to charge their devices, and many times they run out of battery at the pinnacle point of the movie, making the user quite frustrated.
Research and inventions are sure moving in the right direction, though they are rather slow!
Open Caption Theaters
The best option for cinemas to provide people with hearing disabilities is to inaugurate open captions in the movie. This way, the captions are displayed directly on the screen, and no one has any problem understanding the movie. However, this option is still rarely used in movie theatres, and finding cinemas that provide captions right on the screen is a near-impossible task.
Will be easy on everyone, but some people always have to disagree!
We can all agree that there’s still room for improvement when it comes to making theatres accessible for all people. However, they are going in the right direction in making movie theatres accessible for everyone. So, we are positive that these inventions will become top tier in a few years, making cinemas a favorite place for everyone!