Movie Theater and Entertainment Options

Entertainment accessibility options exist all over. It will depend on your preference and what the venue offers as each has their Pro/Cons. Almost all movie theaters have some sort of captioning and if they do not have any setup, just ask them. Several performing theaters have something similar to this in addition to ASL interpreter or CART options so a little research is needed. This listing is to give you an overview of what exists in Delaware.

Disclaimer: This cartoon strip the majority’s opinion and is not meant to be yours as well. The comic strip below summarizes some pro/cons. Do note the first picture is rearview, second is caption glasses then last is open captions. No captiview is listed here.

That Deaf guy comic strip guide to date night at the movies, first picture on left shows rearview being unable to hold hands or drinks, second picture shows caption glasses as being bulky and unable to kiss partner, third picture shows open captions as the perfect solution to dating

Click links below to jump to sections in page below:

Caption Glasses by Sony (older Regal Cinemas use this)
Captiview by Doremi (Cinemark, Westown theater, newer Regals uses this)
Closed Caption Device by USL (Midway theater in Rehoboth Beach)
Rearview by MoPix (none used in Delaware so far)
Open Captioning (Clayton theater in Dagsboron The Midway in Rehoboth Beach, Regal Cinemas and Fox Theatres in Ocean City MD uses this)
Summary

** Bear Drive-Thru theater and Main Street in Newark was not included as it was not clear what is being used now. **


Sony Caption Glasses

Goes over any existing prescription glasses you wear. It is best to position the captions below or above the movie screen to provide more contrast to read the captions since the captions are usually green in color. For older people, it has the feel of an FM system.

Word of warning: This may not be ideal for those with vision issues as the words can

Links:
Sony Caption Glasses Information Guide (Requires Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader)
NPR Article

Where: Regal Cinemas in the early days used this option and mid 2020/2021, they moved over to Doremi Captiview. A few locations do have open captions.


Doremi Captiview

ME/CAPTION 12/30/2004 Robert A. Reeder TWP John Stanton, who is deaf, using Captiview in a cup holder

One of the most popularly used captioning solution for movie theaters around the country. CaptiView is a closed captioning viewing system, created by Doremi Cinema. The system consists of a small captioning display unit with a flexible support arm that fits into the theatre seat’s cup holder. The easy-to-read display comes with a privacy visor so other guests cannot see the captions. One of the biggest drawbacks is the loss of the cup holder for your drink. It is advisable to arrive early to get good seats or reserve seats far back enough to position the captions closely with the screen viewing area.

Links:
Doremi/Dolby Captiview site
Captiview Tutorial

Where: Cinemark, Westown theater in Middletown, possibly Wilmington use this, most likely AMC in Dover and Penn Cinemas in Wilmington.


Closed Caption Device

closed caption device showing a cup holder with gooseneck holding the captioning box

Similar to the Doremi Captiview (see above) but with a cup holder. The Captiview takes up your cup holder while this USL Closed Caption Device includes a cup holder on top of the chair’s cup holder which creates a 2-in-1 device unlike Captiview is.

Links:
Closed Caption Device site

Where: Midway theater in Rehoboth Beach


 

MoPix Rearview also known as Rear Window captioning system (RWC)

rearview showing captions, technically it is a mirror showing captions from behind you illustration showing how rearview captioning works, basically uses a mirror to read captions off a wall behind you while you watch a movie

Used in the early days of movie theater captioning. It is basically a mirror that reflects the captions off a wall behind you while you watch a movie. The drawback is that you cannot sit in certain areas in the back of the room, out of ‘line of sight’ of the captioning box mounted on wall. This also takes away your cup holder also unless you have a second cup holder for your drink. Users have noted that mirror gets loose over time and does not stay in place thus forcing you to constantly adjust the display throughout the movie.

Links:
Boston Business Journal article
MoPix Site

Where: none in Delaware to our knowledge. This technology was used in Regal cinemas before the caption glasses were used, which they now are transitioning to the captiview option, so there may be a few places around the country using this.


Open Captioning

shows 2 kids holding a baby with captions saying [coughing] It does seem to need a little work
Open Captioned
(movie theaters, no background seen)
TV showing a woman with captions saying 'then those two astromechs are banished too.'
Closed Captioning
(TV, black background box around words seen)

Works just like your TV closed captioning. No further explanation needed.

Word of advice, this is not to be confused with subtitles which generally means providing you [English] captions of a foreign language/film. Open captions means captions on the movie screen itself in your native language for everyone to see/read, while closed captioning refers to television captioning with a different look that can be turned on/off by you. Open captions has no background box (see picture above) that you see on TVs.

Where: Clayton theater in Dagsboro (usually Wednesday 3pm), The Midway in Rehoboth Beach (Saturdays at 3pm), Regal Cinemas (Newark and Wilmington), AMC Theaters in Dover and Fox Theatres in Ocean City, MD (just accross state line has them on Sundays and Wednesdays at 3pm)

** Midway Theater in Rehoboth Beach can reserve a room for a fee and use Open Captions. Also, keep an eye out on Westown theater in Middletown as they plan to offer this option (as of January 2022). **


 

Summary

A good summary of the options can be found at https://moviescoop.com/waterworks/accessible-movies.

Do note that a number of newly released films in theaters have shown up in some streaming services while Covid-19 continue to be an issue for our health. Notably, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Prime, Apple+ and others have released new movies at the same time either for free or for a fee. Most new releases have had captioning.

One additional note, you may notice that most captioning of musical words (or even dialogue) are not captioned at all. This is mainly due to a copyright lawsuit that MPAA won, which did not consider accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), rather it considered deceptive advertising that films were fully captioned under a different law. See https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/hollywood-studios-beat-lawsuit-captioning-933845 or https://www.3playmedia.com/blog/class-action-lawsuit-demands-closed-captioning-for-song-lyrics-in-tv-film for more information.

There also is a petition to get more open captioned movies around if you are interested in supporting their work, go to change.org/ocmoviesnow and https://www.facebook.com/ocmoviesnow.

@2022 Delaware Association of the Deaf - proudly created by Feta Fernsler with WordPress