It was a long-overdue date night for Lipreading Mom and Hubby. Our choice: dinner and a movie, of course. This movie night was going to be different. Special. Because with a little bit of research and some open-mindedness, we ventured to a theater where we could both enjoy the experience, thanks to captioning.
After browsing Captionfish.com for captioned film choices in our area, we opted for a Cinemark Theatre located 15 miles from our home. The location offered not one, but 12 captioned movie choices using the latest CaptiView technology. These gadgets, which fit in the cupholder of a theater seat, provide digital captions of movie dialogue, background music, and miscellaneous movie sounds. I had tried CaptiView before at AMC Theatres, but this was my first experience at Cinemark.
I admit I was leary about using CaptiView again because it can be a strain on the eyes to read captions out of the corner of my eye while trying to pay attention to the film screen’s action. It’s impossible to focus on both at the same time, so I knew that I would miss some action while reading the captions and vice versa.
After purchasing tickets, a manager greeted my husband and I with our cupholder device. He asked us to follow him to the screening of “We Bought a Zoo,” our date night movie of choice. We were the first patrons allowed in the individual theater to select our seats, while the manager tested my equipment.
“Let me get you another device,” the manager said, “since this one isn’t working right.”
After we were settled in and took a couple of bites of popcorn, the manager was back with CaptiView equipment that he promised would work.
I was skeptical again, since the last CaptiView system I had tested played fine for the first 20 minutes, before projecting garbled words. My concerns intensified when, during the first minute of “We Bought a Zoo,” my CaptiView machine read, “Not working.”
After a flip of the on/off switch, my CaptiView came back on with movie dialogue. For the next two hours, the machine worked like a charm. I wasn’t prepared to enjoy every second of a movie like I did this one. But the film’s narration, score, and dialogue were there for me to absorb.
One caveat about CaptiView: Some of the dialogue seemed paraphrased. When actor Matt Damon spoke rapidly, I noticed that some of his sentences were cut short on my device. Do the CaptiView Powers That Be think that Lipreading Mom and others with hearing loss are oblivious to “censored” captions?
That was a minor concern with an overall good experience at the movies with my husband…thanks to captioning and the helpful manager at Cinemark.
Here in Seattle the Regal theaters have glasses you can wear that show captioning in the lenses. It’s amazing! You can look anywhere in the theatre (it doesn’t have to be on the screen) and the captions appear. I love it! But there are only two movie houses that have these probably due to cost. There are several more outside the city. If every theatre had these it would be fantastic! They work beautifully! I am lucky in that most of the film I enjoy are foreign…so that works!
@slander – I would *love* to try out the captioning lenses. Movie captioning is a big discussion topic right now at http://www.ccaccaptioning.org. You ought to share your experiences there as well. Blessings!
I also went to the Country Club Plaza Cinemark to see “Hugo” with good experience. The employee brought the caption device and personal listening device to my seat. The headset was static until the main feature started. The CaptiView began to automatically work and I did not have to make even one adjustment to the buttons on bottom of device or positioning it in the cup holder. There was no interruptions and it was a perfect experience. We found the price was below average to what we have been paying at other theaters.
Also went to see “The Artist” at Glenwood Theater. No captioning is necessary as it is a “modern” silent movie. It was very good as well.
Terri – I would definitely attend a show at Cinemark again. I agree with you that the prices are reasonable, the staff members are helpful, and the captioned selections are plentiful.