[nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

Karl Martin Adam kmaent1 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 27 22:17:49 UTC 2015

Apparently the visual markings depends on the theater.  I went 
back to AMC yesterday, and they gave me the wrong thing and then 
when the movie started and we went back to them gave me the wrong 
thing again, so they didn't get it right till the third try.  
They use the same equipment for everyone and just program them 
with descriptive audio or amplification for the hearing impaired 
for a given movie, so there is no way to mark the equipment 
because what matters is how the worker programs it.

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Greg Aikens via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Sun, 27 Dec 2015 16:29:40 -0500
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

So glad this worked out for you.

I just wanted to chime in and say that I have also had this 
happen to me a frustratingly large number of times. What I have 
started doing before the movie is asking 2 and 3 times if they 
are sure it is set for description and not hearing amplification. 
Sometimes they get a little annoyed but then I explain how often 
it is not correct and how I and a friend have to miss the first 
15 minutes of a movie getting it right. I have been pleasantly 
surprised that the last several times I have gone the headset has 
been set up correctly. However, last night when I went to see 
Star Wars with my family, I asked 2 times just to make sure and 
it still did not work. Very frustrating.

I have not heard that there is something visual that indicates 
whether the headset is set for hearing or vision. I wonder if 
that is a Regal thing or all the headsets are like that.

I just wish there was a way to test if the headsets are set on 
the correct channel before the movie starts, like a repeating 
message that says, “You are in theater 6 and listening to the 
described audio track. Your show will start shortly.” That 
would be so helpful in detecting errors before the show begins.

I wonder who we could share feedback with about the system? It 
doesn’t seem like something a local branch of a theater could 


 On Dec 27, 2015, at 3:37 PM, Sharon Dudley via NOBE-L 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:

 We took the advice of some of the people who responded to this, 
and called
 ahead to the local Cinemark. We got a manager who not only 
assured us that
 she understood the request, but who agreed to sit beside us when 
the movie
 came on and make sure it was working correctly. We got to see 
the movie
 because people were willing to listen, and because employees had 
 trained in providing these services.

 Thank you everyone for your help. I am happy I live in an age 
when this
 technology is available, and happier to live in an age when 
there are
 resources like this list to help us when other steps fail.

 On Sat, Dec 26, 2015 at 3:33 PM, Brian J. Quintana via NOBE-L <
 nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:


 I definitely can sympathize with your frustration about this 

 I go to the movies at least once a week. When I first started 
going, the
 same issues happened time and time again. Either the device 
didn't work at
 all, or it was set up for the hearing impaired.

 Each time, we would return the device, and they would always 
give me guest
 passes, so I almost never had to pay for the movie.

 Finally, I spoke to the manager directly, explained how this 
type of
 problem should not happen every time, and I asked her what we 
could do to
 remedy the situation. I proposed calling ahead of time, tell her 
 movie I planned on attending, and make sure they tested out the 
 before I arrived, letting me know before I arrive whether it 
worked, or did

 As of now, this practice has worked almost flawlessly. She knows 
me, and
 it seems she has made sure her employees know to set up for the 
 impaired when I call or e-mail ahead of time.

 By the way, this is a Cinemark chain, and I too have had the 
same problems
 at AMC, but when I do go to a different theatre than my regular 
one, I
 still call ahead and make them get it ready before I arrive.

 I recommend you call ahead from now on, or, make the employee 
come find
 you in the auditorium at the start of the movie to check that 
the device
 works. This way, if it does not, the employee, not you, or your 
husband has
 to leave to get it fixed.

 Oh, and also, I try to remember to bring my own headphones. 
Those the
 theatre provide are bulky and have a 20-foot chord that gets in 
the way of
 my nachos, candy, and drink.


 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Sharon Dudley via NOBE-L" <
 nobe-l at nfbnet.org
 To: "National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List" <
 nobe-l at nfbnet.org
 Cc: "Sharon Dudley" <sharon.a.dudley at gmail.com
 Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 12:54 PM
 Subject: [nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

 I’ve been in tears over this several times today. My husband 
and I are fans
 of science fiction and fantasy, and for years, we’ve shared 
this hobby
 together. I was a kid when Star Wars came out for the first 
time, and I’ve
 always loved the movies.

 For a Christmas surprise, he got us tickets to see the new Star 
Wars movie
 at a time when they offered audio description. There were only 
two such
 shows during the day, and the morning showing on Christmas day 
seemed to
 the best chance that we could avoid overcrowded theaters and 
make sure we
 got the right headset for audio description.

 The introduction of audio description in movie theaters was such 
 wonderful advancement, and made me so happy when our local 
theaters added
 it to their list of services. I have had terrible anxiety about 
going to
 movie theaters ever since I went to see the LAST Star Wars 
movie: Revenge
 of the Sith. My daughter was quietly describing the action on 
the screen,
 and the woman next to her kept tapping her and shushing her. 
Then my
 husband, sitting on my other side, took over describing, and the 
 glared at us, even though it was impossible for her to hear him
 After the movie, she yelled at us, and at me in particular, and 
called me
 bitch for ruining her movie experience, even after we explained 
that I was
 totally blind. She said that if I needed someone to talk to me 
during the
 movie, I should just stay home. That experience has stayed with 
me for a
 decade and colored my expectations of going out to the movies.

 When we got to AMC, we went straight to a manager, who flagged 
down a girl
 working there to give us the headset. We specifically asked if 
it was
 description, as opposed to enhanced audio for the hearing 
impaired. She
 assured us it was, but that it wouldn’t start working until 
the movie
 started. So we got into the theater and waited.

 I don’t think I need to describe the anticipation we felt, but 
when the
 long-awaited words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far 
away…” came onto
 the screen, the headphones were silent. And with the opening 
crawl of
 words, there was no reading from the headphones. When my husband 
 describe things on the screen, I heard sound in the headphones, 
but it was
 only amplified sounds of the events on the screen. No 
description. No

 We left the theater and angrily complained to management. Yes, 
we got our
 money back after it took 20 minutes to explain the situation and 
for them
 to realize what they’d done and get the right headset, and 
then they
 offered to let us back in with the right equipment. What good is 
 We’ve missed the whole first part of the movie! There was no 
other showing
 with audio description for 7 more hours. We weren’t going to 
come back at
 6pm when our daughter is coming over for dinner with our 2-month 

 This was not the first time this has happened to us. The many 
many times
 we’ve tried to go out to a movie, there has not been one 
single instance
 where they gave us the right equipment the first time. And I can 
 of two times where we caught their mistake in time to enjoy the 
movie. I
 have complained to management each and every time, in at least 3 
 theaters in our community. Every time, they have promised to 
train their
 employees better in the future. And every time, we get the same 
 of disability accommodations.

 I wonder if anyone else with disabilities has experienced such
 at AMC theaters in particular, or movie theaters in general. 
What do you
 and how do you explain to them what you need BEFORE it’s too 
late to enjoy
 the movie? This was such a nice surprise from my husband, and it 
 into such a heartbreak on Christmas. We’re going to try again 
in a couple
 days, but how does everyone else get past this barrier?

 Sharon Dudley, NBCT
 NOBE-L mailing list
 NOBE-L at nfbnet.org
 To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account 
info for

 NOBE-L mailing list
 NOBE-L at nfbnet.org
 To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account 
info for


 NOBE-L mailing list
 NOBE-L at nfbnet.org
 To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account 
info for NOBE-L:

NOBE-L mailing list
NOBE-L at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info 
for NOBE-L:

More information about the NOBE-L mailing list