New theater regulations from the DOJ

posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

The Justice Department ruled to put new regulations in place to have most theaters in the U.S. provide closed-captioning and audio description for the visually and hearing impaired. It’s unclear how long it will take to rollout and which theaters may be excluded.

Read more about the technology and the decision behind it at The Hill.

Comments (4)

robboehm on August 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Well if the change to digital didn’t kill enough theatres this ruling should take out a lot more.

Tigh on August 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

If the captions are on the screen, I’ll stop going to the movies.

Dramatrauma on August 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm

I hope the requirement includes the studios providing the material and the theaters providing the service, to place less pressure on the theaters. Certainly there must be a way to embed closed-captioning in the films they stream to the theaters with an on/off switch that would allow them to offer the cc edition for select screenings. I didnt know the tech was available to make the cc visible just to those who choose to use it. Surely the film would be better served if its creators/producers are the ones writing and recording the description and not the theater.

Live theaters (of the right size and budget) have offered select described performances for the hearing and visually impaired for quite sometime. Advertising those dates at the beginning of the season. Ive been told the requirement is that the customer give the theater 10 days notice so that an interpreter can be secured. A friend of mine has made a small business of providing audio description for live venues.

From the article itself.

“Under the rules, captions would be delivered directly to the seat in a manner only visible to only a requesting patron. Audio description, transmitted via a wireless headset, allows individuals who are blind or have low vision “a spoken narration of important visual elements of a movie, such as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes and scene changes.”

“The Justice Department stressed that the regulations would not require theaters to add captioning or audio description to movies that come without those features and exempts theaters that “would cause an undue burden or fundamental alteration” to comply.”

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on August 8, 2014 at 7:55 pm

My local theatre already has the wireless equipment for a few years now, and is sucessful. The IMAX Digital projectors does not support closed-captioning and audio description devices.

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