Regal Cinemas Improve Movie Experience for NYC Residents with Hearing Loss

Sony-Regal Closed Captioning Glasses

News flash: Studies show that from street traffic to subway sounds, New Yorkers are subjected to a lot of noise. And noise exposure is the number one cause of hearing loss.

For those thousands of New York City residents with hearing loss, enjoying films on the big screen is now as easy as watching a television program at home. Thanks to Regal Cinema’s new Sony Entertainment Access Glasses, deaf and hearing impaired moviegoers in New York can enjoy all aspects of the movie theatre experience.

Regal Cinemas has equipped theatres in the New York City area, including the UA Kaufman Astoria, Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 & RPX, and Regal Union Square, with the new closed captioning glasses, which fit like 3-D glasses and work by projecting text of the actors’ dialogue as well as sound descriptions in front of the user.

Cinema employees will set up the glasses for you. After you find your seat, all you need to do is put them on. When the movie previews begin, green text will appear over a slightly darkened box. The glasses are large and can be worn over regular eyeglasses but may take some getting used to due to the weight. You are able to adjust the display distance on the attached receiver box.

Nanci Linke-Ellis is a partner in Captionfish, a search engine for captioned movies and trailers. She calls this technology “a game changer,” as it provides a better opportunity for those in the hearing-impaired community to watch films on the big screen. In the past, other options included limited screenings for movies with open captions (where the whole audience sees the subtitles), personal closed-captioning devices that were uncomfortable, and assistive listening devices, which aid in amplification, but may not be compatible with all hearing aids and helpful at all for people who are completely deaf.

Some tips to consider, if you plan on going to a movie on a weekend, call ahead to ensure that the Access Glasses will be available; arrive early so that you can get set up with the glasses; and choose a good seat, ideally in the middle of the theatre, where viewing is best.

Oh, and don’t forget the butter on your popcorn!