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11/08/2006

Subtitled screenings at a cinema near you

Over 200 cinemas across the UK offer subtitled screenings of the latest blockbuster films, meaning deaf and hard of hearing people can once again enjoy an outing to the cinema.
Never before have cinemas been more accessible to wider audiences. Leading charity RNID welcomes the increasing number of cinemas showing subtitled screenings and urges more to follow their lead.
Research by RNID, the national charity representing the UK’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people, shows that 5 million people across the UK use subtitles regularly to enjoy television, many of whom will now be able to enjoy subtitled screenings of the latest cinema releases. Every month, there are 1,000 subtitled screenings of newly released films. The increase in subtitled screenings marks a revolution for millions of would-be cinemagoers across the country.
RNID is urging older people in particular, who have ceased visiting cinemas because their hearing has deteriorated and they struggle to follow the films, to give them another try and see the difference the most up-to-date digital subtitling equipment has made.
Mark Morris, Head of RNID’s Access to the Arts campaign, says: “It’s great news for deaf and hard of hearing people that an increasing number of cinemas now show subtitled screenings. Previously only Arthouse and foreign films were subtitled. RNID believes cinemas can be inclusive for all and an increased range of accessible movies, including the latest blockbusters as well as a more diverse range of films, mean there is bound to be a film that suits individual tastes.”
Morris adds: “If local cinemas don’t show subtitled screenings people must put pressure on them to do so. If cinemas see there is local demand for subtitled screenings then they will have to sit up and take action.”
Peter Buckingham, Head of the UK Film Council’s Distribution and Exhibition Fund said: “We want to help everyone in the community to enjoy films at the cinema. In the past, too many people with impaired sight and hearing have been cut off from films on the big screen. With more cinemas now providing soft-subtitling and audio-description facilities, this will enable many more people to enjoy films at the cinema, as well as the discussions afterwards with their friends and family.”
(GB)
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