Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announced plans to equip all digital cinema locations with personal captioning and descriptive video technologies.
“After years of working to ensure that personal captioning solutions would be available through digital cinema, as well as meet the needs and expectations of the deaf, hard of hearing and blind, we are pleased to begin efforts now to offer this access at theatres converted to the all-digital format”
For years Regal has actively worked with various technology companies and film distributors to create opportunities to increase theatre access for deaf, hard of hearing and blind moviegoers. The advent of digital cinema technology offers new opportunities to increase access at all digitally equipped theatres and Regal expects to have practically all of its theatres converted to digital cinema by the end of 2012. In conjunction with its digital cinema rollout, Regal has developed a strategy to also rollout these adaptive technologies for widespread consumer use over the next 12 to 18 months. In addition, Regal has partnered with Captionfish which is the internet's leading captioned movies search engine that finds open captioned, Rear Window® captioned, foreign/subtitled and descriptively-narrated movies showing at theatres across the United States.
“Regal once again has bolstered their commitment to providing movies that are accessible to people with hearing and vision loss. Regal was the first to provide a comprehensive website, advertised show times, theatre manager training program and free screenings to deaf and hard of hearing children. Regal has always been a strong advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing and remains the most committed exhibitor in the U.S. to support captioned programming and providing the deaf and hard of hearing community access to feature films. This announcement demonstrates their continuing leadership in accessible entertainment,” said Nanci Linke Ellis, of Captionfish.com. Partner Brendan Gramer added, “We are thrilled that they have chosen to partner with Captionfish as a resource for disseminating accessible showtimes.”
“After years of working to ensure that personal captioning solutions would be available through digital cinema, as well as meet the needs and expectations of the deaf, hard of hearing and blind, we are pleased to begin efforts now to offer this access at theatres converted to the all-digital format,” stated Randy Smith, Regal Entertainment Group, Chief Administrative Officer & Counsel. “Regal is now ordering and, depending on product availability, will be installing these new technologies at our fully digitized locations. Our intentions are to offer captioning and descriptive video for every film that comes with such content, at all show times, at every theatre equipped and to be equipped with digital cinema systems over the next 12 to 18 months. By the end of 2012, almost every Regal location nationwide will be fully equipped with digital cinema systems and be further equipped to provide closed captions and descriptive video for our deaf, hard of hearing and blind guests.”
Regal Entertainment Group is grateful for the many years of aid, insight and support provided by numerous individuals and advocates within the deaf, hard of hearing and blind communities. While obstacles remain for some large format presentations, 3D films and the limited availability of captioned film product from some studios, Regal is eagerly entering a new era of unparalleled access for the deaf, hard of hearing and blind.