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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it clear that movie theaters are a place of public accommodation and should provide the accommodations needed by people with disabilities, including people with hearing loss. Theaters are required to provide assistive listening devices and have worked to comply with that regulation for many years. However, until recently theater owners have successfully contended they were not required to provide captioned movies.

In April, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act does require movie theaters to show closed-captioned movies unless doing so would constitute an "undue burden." Then in July, 2010, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that made it clear closed captioning of movies would be considered a reasonable accommodation. At the same time, theaters had begun the process of installing digital movie systems. With the installation of digital technology, providing closed captioning in the theater becomes more affordable as well as technically achievable. We expect to see more and more captioning of movies as digital technology is rolled out in theaters across the country.



Regal Entertainment Announces New Access Solutions for Moviegoers

May 17 2011

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., May 04, 2011

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.

HLAA Applauds Cinemark’s Roll Out of Closed Captioning in California

May 3 2011

Cinemark Holdings, one of the largest motion picture exhibitors, has agreed to roll out closed captioning technology in every auditorium of their first run theaters in California by June 2012. Half of Cinemark’s theaters in California already have captioning capability.

HLAA Sends Comments to DOJ on Movie Captioning

Jan 25 2011

Thank You for Supporting Movie Captioning!
Back in December, 2010, HLAA asked you to provide comments for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) review of movie captioning regulations. You did it! Over 950 Comments were filed in that proceeding – many coming from members and constituents of HLAA. Thank you for your terrific response to our Action Alert!

Hot News on Captioned Movies

May 17 2010

By Cheryl Heppner, 5/10/10

On May 7, 2010, the Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Memorandum Opinion and Order which could greatly improve access to movie downloads for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Court Rules ADA Requires Closed-Captioned Movies

May 3 2010

In December, 2008, HLAA joined Washington State Communications Access Project (Wash CAP) and others in a "Friend of the Court" (amicus) brief for a movie captioning case that was filed in Arizona. In that amicus brief, we supported closed captioning in movie theaters as a form of accommodation that could be provided to people with hearing loss under the ADA.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled April 30, 2010 that the ADA can require movie theaters to exhibit closed-captioned movies.

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