How to get theater to offer assistive listening device?


I went to a movie that shows regular current movies but is also low cost cinema close to my house. I asked about ALDs and they have none. The girl said many people ask but there is nothing. She suggested Live Transcribe. I used Live Transcribe but it did not do a good job. It was not easy to understand and it barely transcribed dialogues.

If many people ask, that means there is a real demand for them.

How can I ask them to provide ALDs? How do they decide which ALDs to provide? I’d want one that I can connect my Roger Select or a direct audio input instead of their headphone or loop. Would they have something to connect to in the back?

I find it hard to believe they don’t even have ALDs if they don’t have captioning.



Because of their size they might be excepted from ADA (my assumption is that you are in the US) or they are exempt from captioning if they are showing analog movies, otherwise they are required to have both captions and ALDs. They get to chose what type, but most of the ones with headphones you can unplug the headphone and plug in your own device.



any public venue with 50 seats or more attached to the floor is required to have ALD.



What is an analog movie?

They have current movies that other theaters are playing.

How can I be sure they follow ADA rules?



Unless they can show that it would be cost prohibitive, which an ALD shouldn’t be even for a small theater, they probably just need to be educated.



Most theaters are using digital projectors now, but there are still theaters out there using film, and they are not required to provide captioning. They should still have ALDs, I would suggest talking to a manager and ask if they are aware of their responsibility under ADA. Unless the owner is there they won’t be able to give you an immediate answer, but it might start things rolling.

Don’t be threatening about it, the goal should be them doing things voluntarily, they may not be aware that they are supposed to be doing anything. A lot of people, including those who should know better, seem to think ADA stops with wheelchair ramps and maybe braille door signs.



The companies that sell this kind of equipment to theaters might be able to offer some advice. The larger theaters of course have (RF) Sony Access Glasses but our local one here has a cheaper (IR) system and I think the caption device is a small screen that has a gooseneck then fits in the cup holder. I don’t remember the name because it’s been a few years since I’ve gone… You might want to see if it’s possible to do a charity thing to get money for one system or another. I would start with Google and something like: movie theater caption device