For cinema-goers with hearing loss, the movie experience can be disappointing, frustrating… even a waste of money at times. Dialogue sounds like the actors are mumbling and, for those with hearing aids, the volume can be way too loud.

In response to the efforts of numerous advocacy groups, the federal Department of Justice currently has under consideration a regulation to require movie theaters to show at least 50% of their movies with closed captions. However, the good news is that private businesses often move faster than the federal government. Two major movie theaters have announced that they are moving ahead with plans of their own to provide closed captioning to improve the movie experience for those with hearing loss.

Regal and Cinemark movie theaters have both announced that captioning systems will soon be available at all of its first-run theaters as they convert their current projection systems to digital systems. Closed captioning systems chosen by these theaters allow audience members the option to view the caption on a personal display device. Captions would not be visible on the screen.

Additionally, Sony in the development stage to build special glasses that when worn will make the subtitles appear as if is they are super-imposed on the cinema screen.

Not all movies are made with captions, however. If you or someone you know has hearing loss, check out CaptionFish for a list of movies with captioning.

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