August 15, 2011

I Tried Wireless Head Phones at the Movies (Listening Device for Deaf & Hard of Hearing)

I saw The Help yesterday with my mother and sister at a movie theater near me. The theater was packed! It has been a long time since I have seen so many movie goers in one day.

I was happy to see that the movie theater had new listening devices for the deaf and hard of hearing. They actually listened to my complaints about their previous defective head phones and listening devices. I am sure I was not the only one who complained. Their new head phones were easy to use. I liked how they were wireless and had a volume control dial that I could use to adjust the sounds to my liking. It blocked out a lot of the background noises in the movie theater and helped make the dialogue clear and easier to understand. Of course I missed a few things here and there, but I suppose it was better than nothing.

The movie was REALLY GOOD! I highly recommend it. I cried at some parts (and movies usually don't make me cry).

The only thing I did not like about using the head phones is that I apparently missed out on some serious sobbing in the audience and people calling out to the movie. My mother asked if we heard the woman hysterically crying behind us and the woman who gasped in the movie and yelled out "Oh no!" during a scene in the movie. I did not hear any of these things. It is great that the head phones blocked out all of the sounds in the theater which can be annoying or distracting. They would be great for blocking out annoying people who like to talk during the movie. However, I could not help but feel left out when my sister and mother laughed as they talked about the people in the movie theater.

I looked to see if they had any movie theaters showing The Help with Open Captions (captions on screen, like subtitles). There were no movie theaters in the area that were showing this movie with Open Captions according to CaptionFish. One movie theater, far away, provided CaptiView (which I had an unsuccessful experience with). This made me sad. What if you did not like or were unable to use the listening devices or captioning devices provided by the theater? Not having the availability of captioned or subtitled movies makes it hard for deaf and hard of hearing people to see any movie at any time, which people with typical hearing take for granted. I don't think it is fair for some people to miss out on a fun event of seeing a newly released movie with the local community.



  1. Doesn't sound good to me. Don't you Americans have the ADA now? Could it be used to force cinemas to offer opening captioning? Anyone who knows?

    Anyway, I can tell you how things are in Norway. Here most foreign movies are subtitled, normally only children's movies are dubbed. This means that practically all foreign movies (including American ones) are by default available to the HoH crowd.

    Norwegian-speaking movies is a different story though. Most of them are not captioned when viewing in cinemas, and many are not captioned when being issued on DVDs either. The deaf and HoH organisations are now fighting to make Norwegian-speaking movies accessible for them too, hopefully they'll win a sweet victory some day. :)

  2. It's the same way with the US. Foreign - subtitled, domestic -"screw the deaf", err, I mean "no". I would imagine, since the ADA has been in existence since `91, someone already looked at that legal angle. I did take a separate law a few years later to force all TV shows to be closed captioned.

    AMC (the cinema, not network) shows open captioned movies but they are usually for only a few days well after the movie premiers. Additionally, every time I go to one there are 5 to 10 people there. I'm surprised they still do this.

    They're nationwide listing for the films and times is here:
    or more clickable:

  3. Wireless eh? Whats the difference between the normal headset theaters have and wireless?

    I typically wait till movie comes out in DVD. But, yea, would be nice if we could watch it in captions/subtitles every time.

    However with the Twilight saga movies, I've gone to every one of them...w/ headsets, which is better than nothing.


  4. At a time, this movie theater provided head sets complete with a clunky box and wires connected to it--almost like an old Walkman. They never did work very well for some reason.

    This time they only have the head set (no box, no wires). All I have to do is turn it on and adjust the volume. Much nicer looking and easier to use.

  5. Jan Parlin PacelliAugust 16, 2011 7:31 AM

    a-jay: The shorter URL did not yield results but the longer one worked great (I just copied and pasted into the browser, so it was no big deal that it was long) and then I saved the site to my bookmarks. Thanks!

  6. okay,so I must have used the wireless then.


  7. @Jan - a-Johnston, right? j/k ☺☺ I just tried the shorter link use used to make. It works for me ... huh ... I'za confuzzled. Glad the longer worked for you.

    Oh now that I think about it, the problem might be firewall settings that won't allow follow re-directed links, if that helps.


Keep it civil.