Would you still enjoy the film if you couldn’t see the screen?

Image shows actors, harrison ford, carrie fisher and mark hamill on the set of star wars. The image is blurred.

Image via: disney.wikia.com

Can you recognise the film scene above?

For most people, the biggest worry at the cinema is how much that large bag of popcorn costs. For others however, there are more things to worry about when going to see the latest movie.

Not all movie fans have the ability to enjoy films the same as everyone else. Imagine trying to watch a film you couldn’t see or hear.

Many movie goers are in fact blind, deaf or on the autistic spectrum. Whilst at first you may think that this would hinder the movie going experience, more and more cinemas are recognising these problems and catering for a wider audience. Cinemas such as Odeon provide guests with special accessibility screenings for those who are blind, deaf or autistic.

Many films screened at Odeon provide film fans with a separate audio track for those who are blind or partially sighted. Aspects of the film such as scene surroundings, setting, body language of the actor and dialogue are described to the guest. This audio commentary is available at the box office of the cinema, with the headset being used during the showing.

The recent trend of 3D films has meant that some film fans can’t get the full experience as many sight issues mean the guest can’t see 3D cinematography.. As a result, the cinema aims to provide guests with 2D performances where possible. Guide dogs are also welcome in all cinemas.

For customers with a visual impairment, Odeon offers audio descriptive showings of recent films at your local cinema. Whilst there may not be many showing in comparison to standard showings, this is certainly welcome. Odeon also offers some captioned, subtitled performances for those with a hearing impairment. They also offer use of a headset to improve your hearing of the film soundtrack itself.

A standard showing of a recent film can certainly be a challenge for movie goers who are autistic. In recent years however, many cinemas have started showing autism friendly screenings, specific for those on the autism spectrum. Odeon for example, host an autism friendly screening one Sunday each month at 11.30 am. These showings have certain changes within the performance, lights at a lower level, lower sound level, no advertisements and allowances for movement and noise within the theatre.

These screenings are partnered with Dimensions, a non-profit organisation supporting services for people with learning disabilities and autism. The aim with these screenings is to make guests feel as comfortable as possible, with the hope that in time, they would be able to attend a standard screening.

Whilst there is still some work to be done in order to ensure every guest has the same experience at the cinema, these are certainly some advancements that are welcome and is a step in the right direction. In time, everyone will be able to have an enjoyable experience at the local cinema.

About Nathan Spendelow

The Jurassic Park series of films are are the best ever made. Ever since I was a child, this dinosaur theme park was something that intrigued me. Who doesn't want to pet a Triceratops? I'm quite partial to the occasional zombie film too and I worship George A. Romero, that man is a genius.

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