Legal agreement forces Harkins Theatres to install technology for blind, deaf
posted by Michael Zoldessy on November 17, 2011 at 10:39 am
PHOENIX, AZ — In an interesting move, Harkins Theatres will now be installing closed captioning and video descriptions for its blind and deaf patrons. The lawsuit began with the Americans for Disabilities Act. What will this mean for other theaters across the country?
Read more in bizjournals.
While I understand the need to provide access to everyone, many small theatre’s are surviving on a shoestring. I myself fun a single screen and could no way afford to add the equipment warrented in this action. I do have headsets for hearing impaired but closed captioning is out of reach. This could potentialy put small operators out of business as only the giant chains can afford this. And it only takes 1 person to complain and file action of non-compliance.
The same thing was said about wheelchair ramps and bathrooms. If business wasn’t occasionally guided by laws we would be eating in dirty restaurants and peeing on the sides of buildings. The Seattle Cinerama has had captioning for years. They only have one screen.
I have poor hearing and subscribe to a monthly magazine for hearing-impaired. Editorally, they are very hot for compliance with ADA rules- no exceptions. It’s almost an annoying attitude. Myself, I do not expect or want any theater or other business to accomodate my “needs”.
But don’t people with disabilities of some sort or other have the right to enjoy the same things (including movies) that people without disabilities do? That’s one of the purposes of the ADA. Making movie theatres handicapped-accessible, as well as having closed-captions is important.
But sometimes, after going to the considerable expense to be ADA-compliant, no one shows up to use the new features! That’s happened more than once.