[nobe-l] How AMC Stole Christmas

Danielle Ledet singingmywayin at gmail.com
Mon Dec 28 10:22:37 UTC 2015

So how do I know which theaters offer audio description? Do they all
do it? We have a theater here and all I know is it's called the Grand
10, and don't know if this is an option. I might actually enjoy Star
Wars and more action films if this were the case. My children used to
sit beside me and tell me what was happening but that isn't available
to me anymore.

On 12/27/15, Arthur Jacobs via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Regal developed its own DV equipment and the corporate accessibility office
> handles it. Btw, all show times should be described, if that movie features
> DV. This availability is based on the production company that made it. All
> movies from the production companies Regal/AMC is working with for DV.
> Arthur Jacobs
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Dec 27, 2015, at 4:29 PM, Greg Aikens via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
>> wrote:
>> 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 change.
>> Best,
>> Greg
>>> 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:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> 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.
>>>> Brian
>>>> ----- 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 “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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> do
>>>>> 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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Email: singingmywayin at gmail.com

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