AMC Theatres Adding Captions to SelAMC Theatres Adding Open Captions for Select Movie Screeningsect Movie Screenings


AMC Theatres will begin to roll out open captions for theatrically released films. The move will now allow those who are deaf or hard of hearing to be able to read the dialogue and sounds directly on the screen as the film plays. Movie theatres have always been legally required to offer closed captioning systems, which allow those who need it to use headphones and read the dialogue on a small screen mounted on the back of the seat.

AMC will implement a small progression of this new captioning system, with about 40 percent (240 theatres) offering the new feature at the onset. As for timing, the chain has said that these screenings will become available in time for the release of Marvel’s latest feature Eternals, which is fitting given the introduction of superhero Makkari, who is played by Lauren Ridloff. The Deaf actress has come out herself in support of these kinds of inclusions, noting how the Deaf community feels forgotten in relation to the theatrical experience.

The AMC Empire Theater in New York City

Related: ‘Eternals’ Star Lauren Ridloff Addresses Inaccessibility Issues for the Deaf Community: “We’re an Afterthought in Movie Theatres”

Americans have certainly grown more and more accustomed to captioning over the years, particularly thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Additionally, with the popularity of foreign content like Parasite and Squid Game, several viewers have widely accepted captions (as incorrect as the translations may be).

Here’s what Elizabeth Frank, AMC’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Programming and Chief Content Officer, had to say:

“By adding open captions to the variety of presentation formats we offer, AMC locations become a more welcoming place for millions of Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as many for whom English is not their native language. Initial consumer response has been very positive, and we anticipate strong demand with growing awareness of open caption showtimes at AMC.”

Given the end of Frank’s comments, AMC intends for this option to also facilitate a better viewing experience for those who do not speak English as their primary language. As many experts have noted, words on screens have become such a common part of everyday life thanks to sources like Twitter and smartphones in general. Therefore, while some are concerned that viewers will be turned off by this addition, many expect that AMC audiences will welcome this inclusion.

Here’s hoping that other theatre chains, namely Regal and Cinemark, will follow suit.

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