[nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

Albert Rizzi Albert at Myblindspot.org
Sun Dec 27 22:29:42 UTC 2015

I just want to applaud all the self-advocacy successes I am hearing about. not only did you all get what each of us are entitled to under the law, but, more importantly, in my opinion anyway, you educated a number of people, and in some instances in a manner that they were able to impart the knowledge to others. Bravo!

-----Original Message-----
From: NOBE-L [mailto:nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Karl Martin Adam via NOBE-L
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2015 5:18 PM
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Karl Martin Adam <kmaent1 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

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, ?œYou 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 change.


 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 been  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 matter.

 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 which  movie I planned on attending, and make sure they tested out the device  before I arrived, letting me know before I arrive whether it worked, or did  not.

 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 visually  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  be  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 a  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 woman  glared at us, even though it was impossible for her to hear him  describing.
 After the movie, she yelled at us, and at me in particular, and called me  a  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  audio  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 ?œA 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 started  to  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  narration.

 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 that?
 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 old  grandson!

 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 only  think  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 different  theaters in our community. Every time, they have promised to train their  employees better in the future. And every time, we get the same ignorance  of disability accommodations.

 I wonder if anyone else with disabilities has experienced such  difficulties  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 turned  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
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