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Closed Captioning in Movie Theaters: How it Works

Thanks to the incorporation of subtitles in movie theaters, the barriers that make it difficult for different audiences to view and understand film productions are eliminated.

Do you know these subtitling options and how they work in movie theaters? Find out in this post so you can help any viewer who needs them.

Why are subtitles important in movie theaters?

The first thing we want to tell you about subtitles in movie theaters is that they consist of a text version of the dialogues and other key audio elements of a film production. They are usually created automatically by subtitling software.

Subtitles are intended to give everyone access to the movie experience because, regardless of the diversity of the viewer, subtitles allow them to understand the story and plot of the production.

Are subtitles in movie theaters only for people with low vision?

Beyond addressing the special needs of low-vision viewers, closed captioning in movie theaters will also help improve the comprehension of movies for the hearing impaired. By displaying dialogue and reference to other sounds in text, they can read and understand the story on screen.

Likewise, subtitles allow viewers to watch foreign films; without them, they would not be able to understand the unfolding story presented in a non-native language.

Benefits of subtitles in movies

Subtitles have important benefits, specifically in terms of the benefits of subtitles in movie theaters. They make it easier for viewers with different needs to understand and remember the contents of the movies.

It should be noted that subtitles are also advantageous for those who want to learn a language since the written text facilitates the learning and development of vocabulary, speed of speech, and nuances of the language.

Subtitles in movie theaters 1

ADA requirements in movie theatres

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) grants some civil rights protections to people with disabilities, including movie theaters. Among other things, all structural, architectural, and communication barriers that hinder accessibility must be removed.

There are ways for local movie theaters to comply with ADA requirements, and one of them is to provide closed captioning in movies for those who need it. Below, we describe the most common options and how captioning works in movie theaters.

1. The mirror

In movie theaters, subtitles are reproduced on the back. Therefore, any viewer requesting subtitles will be provided with a small mirror that can reflect the subtitles, which can be placed in his or her cup holder.

It is essential to follow the directions for adjusting the mirror in the correct direction to view the captions without interruption during the entire projection.

2. Smart glasses with closed captioning

Another option for captioning in movie theaters is smart glasses. They consist of a pair of polarized lenses attached to a box with several cables.

With this option, subtitles can be read on a screen at the bottom of the glasses; the box is placed around the viewer's neck.

Closed Captioning in Movie Theaters 1

This option will not be the most convenient for regular eyeglass wearers, as it will be challenging to manage with both glasses.

3. Subtitle holders

They consist of a protracted and flexible pole attached to an LED screen; it is on this screen where the subtitles of the movie can be displayed.

This screen is rectangular and small enough so that viewers can easily insert it into the cup holder; this way, they can see the subtitles comfortably.

Closed Captioning in Movie Theaters; Conclusions

Subtitles in movie theaters are essential to enhance the movie-going experience for all moviegoers.

We have told you how the available options currently work, and it is expected that they will continue to evolve rapidly to meet the needs of the different audiences of today.

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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