AMC Theaters Adds Captions, Making Watching Movies - Comic Years
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AMC Theaters Adds Captions, Making Watching Movies More Accessible

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BY October 29, 2021

I’ve always loved going to the movies. The popcorn, the (as of recent) cushy seats, and the anticipation of a great film all made the moviegoing experience a fond memory; however, watching a film in theaters hasn’t always been an enjoyable or easy experience for some. We now have some exciting news on that front though: AMC Theaters, the largest movie theater chain in the world, is making watching movies more accessible for people with hearing loss and/or people whose first language isn’t English. Read on to learn more about AMC theaters adds captions.

What Exactly Does It Mean When We Say AMC Theaters Is Adding Captions?

amc theaters adds captions Image via pxfuel

The movie theater company announced that 240 of its locations (in more than 100 domestic markets) are adding open captions to certain showings. Open captions are similar to subtitles and they appear on the screen and cannot be turned off. Every AMC market with at least two theaters will have some open caption showtimes available weekly for new releases and will also be offered through AMC’s private theater rental program in certain locations.

While AMC has offered Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) for a while now, having open captions for films is a first. AMC will still offer closed captioning on electronic devices that need to be requested for a “vast majority” of showtimes, but now when moviegoers are searching on AMC’s website or mobile app, they can search for open-caption showtimes. Currently there’s a mix of weekend, weekday, evening, and matinee showings, but there’s the potential for more, especially if the positive feedback is anything to go off of. Elizabeth Frank, AMC’s chief content officer and executive vice president of worldwide programming, said in a statement:

“Initial consumer response has been very positive, and we anticipate strong demand with growing awareness of open caption showtimes at AMC. Inclusive programming is core to AMC’s strategy, and we’re proud to lead the theatrical exhibition industry by making some open caption showtimes available at hundreds of our locations nationwide.”

AMC’s announcement comes at a perfect time since Eternals is coming out and will feature the MCU’s first deaf superhero, an Eternal named Makkari. Lauren Ridloff, who plays Makkari, had spoken to the New York Times and said that having the option of open captions will be so much easier. She said:

“You have to use a special closed-captioning device to watch subtitling in a theater, and it’s a headache, because most of the time the devices don’t work. Then you have to go back to the front desk and find somebody to help, and by the time they figure it out that it’s not working — that it’s not going to be subtitled at all — the movie’s halfway done.”

Even as someone who doesn’t have hearing loss and uses English as her first language, I am looking forward to AMC theaters having open captions. I’ll be honest and say that there have been far too many times to count where an actor or actress was mumbling or there was a rowdy group in the theater and I missed a crucial moment because I was giving them the stink eye. Open captions can make the moviegoing experience better for everyone!

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Paul Sableman

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Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane. Contact her at [email protected]

AMC Theatersonscreen captions

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