Planning your cinema visit
Many cinemas now provide accessibility information on their websites. This should help you to plan your trip to the cinema. If the information you require isn’t available, or accessible contact methods such as email are not available, then feed back to the cinema and advise on what improvements they could make.
How do I find subtitled screenings?
Subtitled screenings let you follow the dialogue and background soundtrack to a film. Some cinemas refer to these as captioned screenings. There are more now than ever before - although you may find local screenings are limited.
They will normally be listed as ‘ST’, ‘subtitled’ or ‘captioned’. All subtitled screenings are also listed on the accessible screenings website YourLocalCinema.com, where you can search for films by location and film title.
If the screening times at your local cinema are unsuitable, and if you think more people would like to attend subtitled screenings, you should tell the cinema.
What else can help me enjoy films at the cinema?
There are two main types of equipment that make going to the cinema accessible. These are:
- hearing loops
- infrared systems
Hearing loops are generally found in the public area of the cinema where interaction happens, such as the ticket office or refreshment counter, as well as in some cinema screens. Most hearing aids have a hearing loop setting that allows them to pick up the sound generated by the hearing loop system.
Infrared systems are a better option for the screen, as hearing loop systems can pick up interference and sounds from other screens near by. The cinema provides an infrared neckloop receiver and all you have to do is set your hearing aid to the loop programme. If you're unsure about how the system works, cinema staff should be able to explain.
If these systems aren’t available, you can ask why. Your cinema may not be aware of them.
At the cinema
When you arrive at the cinema, you should be confident of having a fully accessible and enjoyable experience. The staff should know how to operate the hearing loop and infrared systems – and to have some level of deaf awareness, such as understanding the importance of speaking to you clearly and directly.
If any of the advertised equipment doesn’t work, it’s best to alert a member of staff who should be able to resolve the issue, or provide you with an alternative.
If you’re uncomfortable doing this face to face, then contact the cinema when you‘re back home by letter or email. It’s important to make the cinema staff aware of any issues so that they can resolve it for your next visit.
To find out more about enjoying films and other arts, see our leaflet Enjoying TV, film and the arts