A regional theater chain now offers open captioning at all locations.
Celebration Cinema on Friday, June 3, expanded open captioning to all theaters after a successful pilot at Rivertown and Crossroads theaters in March.
Following the pilot, all of Celebration’s 10 multiplex theaters will provide public open captioning for select movies.
“The response has been positive,” said Emily Loeks, director of community affairs, Celebration Cinema. “We knew this was a viewing preference for the deaf community and some for whom English is a second language but have found that a number of film avids love catching the nuances, subtle asides and clarity of dialogue one can get from captioning.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of our community and offer moviegoing experiences that are memorable and enjoyable for everyone. Open captioning helps us fulfill that mission and opens that door a little wider.”
Open-captioned movies present dialogue captioning directly on the screen for the entire audience to view, unlike closed captioning, which requires the use of special devices for audience members. Celebration will continue to offer closed captioning for almost all movie presentations throughout the week.
Celebration will offer open-captioned shows for select films on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, with a single open-captioned presentation of the top five movies of the week on each of those two days.
Open-captioned shows will be marked clearly on Celebration’s website and at the box office with the attribute OCAP.
For the initial pilot and current expansion of open captioning services, Celebration Cinema partnered with regional organizations Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services (D&HHS) and Kalamazoo Deaf Night Out.
“We have heard so many express appreciation for this accessible option for the movies,” said Erica Chapin, community and partnership manager for D&HHS. “Some have even said this has brought them back to the movie theater for the first time in 30 years.”