|AMC Theatres and ALDA Announce Greater Accessibility for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Guestsat All Digital Movie Theatres in California
Press Release, Association of Late-Deafened Adults 12/20/11
Kansas City, Mo. - AMC Theatres® (AMC) today announced it will install personal captioning systems for its guests who are deaf or have significant hearing loss. The captioning systems will be installed in California, and across its national circuit, on a rolling basis, in conjunction with AMC's national conversion to digital cinema. AMC will offer closed captioning for 127 screens in California by mid-2012, and projects that number to grow to over 500 screens by late 2013.
Movie captions convey the dialogue, narration, musical cues, key sound effects, speaker identification and other auditory information, in the form of written text for guests who have significant difficulty hearing the movie sound track. Closed captions are relayed - in sync with the movie - only to guests who choose to receive them via a personal display device. In setting the time-table for installation of captioning capability in California, AMC worked closely with the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), an advocacy group for those who have lost some or all of their hearing, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit legal center, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., and John Waldo, an attorney whose practice focuses on the needs of those with hearing loss.
"We applaud AMC's collaborative efforts in working with us to provide closed captioning technology, which allows our constituents with hearing loss the opportunity to watch firstrun movies in theatres throughout California," said Cynthia Amerman, President of ALDA.
"We are pleased AMC chose to continue its commitment to captioning as the industry transitions from traditional film technology to digital cinema," said Sid Wolinsky of Disability Rights Advocates.
"We commend AMC's support for captioning," said Elizabeth Leonard of Disability Rights Advocates. "AMC's decision to provide captioning in its digitally converted theatres makes first-run movies available to millions of patrons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in California."
"The conversion to digital cinema has created new opportunities to improve closed captioning for offerings. We intend to work closely with them to make sure that we provide high quality closed-captioning systems for our deaf and hard of hearing patrons," John McDonald, executive vice president of U.S. Operation for AMC added.
"AMC has supported and provided captioning for many years," said Laura Franze, a partner with the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP, who represented AMC in its negotiations with ALDA. "Today's decision reaffirm's AMC's long-standing commitment to the company's
deaf and hard of hearing patrons."
About American Multi-Cinema, Inc.
AMC delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 357 theatres with 5,098 screens across the United States and Canada. The company operates 22 of the 50 highest grossing theatres in the country, including the top three. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage and diverse content. www.AMCTheatres.com.
About the Association of Late-Deafened Adults
The Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois. The Association of Late Deafened Adults advocates on behalf of the 38 million Americans who have lost some or all of their hearing. For more information, please visit www.alda.org.
Cynthia Amerman, President of ALDA
Sid Wolinsky, Disability Rights Advocates
Telephone: (510) 665-8644
Elizabeth Leonard, Disability Rights Advocates
Telephone: (510) 665-8644
John Waldo, Law Offices of John Waldo
Telephone: (206) 849-5009