ODEON RESPONSE about subtitling….
I want to share this information with you, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing audience. We have written all the letters to every CEOs in the Cinema and one had came back with promptness and answered the queries for Deaf Confederacy about the lack of subtitling in Cinema due to matching as the same as the hearing peers. I have to say ODEON’s response and their professionalism to answer our concerns. The CEO has taken our concerns on aboard and instructed his team to provide the findings for Deaf Confederacy.
This is what they had came back with…..
“Thank you again for contacting CEO (name omitted by Ed) yesterday, and for giving us the chance to outline some of the initiatives we’re doing to improve accessibility in our cinemas.
It will be no surprise to you that we want as many people as possible to come and enjoy our cinemas, and the best way to do that is to try to ensure that every single guest has a fantastic experience.
We know that offering a wide range of subtitled performances in each of our cinemas is critical to this objective, and I’m pleased to say that the number of subtitled performances is rising sharply. We’ve done a lot of work over the last 6 months to increase the number of captioned performances and to improve the times that they’re scheduled.
Just after midnight tonight, for example, a large number (77) of our first ever screenings of Captain America: Civil War will be shown with subtitles in our cinemas across the UK. This is the largest number of subtitled “first shows” we’ve ever offered, with a mix of 2D and 3D screenings. There will be many more subtitled shows of Captain America in its first week. As well as these first shows at midnight, the film’s other captioned shows during the next week have been scheduled to fit a range of demands and needs of our guests.
This follows the success of a similar campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, when we responded to feedback from our guests and showed 356 subtitled performances in its first week across our 112 cinemas in the UK, including 46 captioned midnight performances for fans who wanted to see it the very minute it was officially released.
I’ve just realised this makes it sound as though we just focus on the blockbusters. We don’t. In the first week of Star Wars last year, for example, we showed captioned screenings of 17 other films too.
We’re doing a lot of work across our company to communicate with our guests more effectively, and taking a “test and learn” approach to working together to tailor our offer to fit guests’ needs better. As well as having more conversations with our guests in each cinema, we’re also using new email and other technology in our central offices to develop more insightful scheduling, and to communicate more frequently with guest groups so they know what we’re doing and can tell their friends. We’re also keen to know how we could improve even more.
As well as working with our guests, we’re also working closely with the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) on initiatives that involve the vast majority of UK cinema operators, including all the main cinema chains. This includes our involvement in the Association’s longstanding Disability Working Group, which includes representation not just from ODEON and other operator companies, but also from organisations such as Action on Hearing Loss and the National Deaf Children’s Society. Work undertaken by the Group has included consideration of personalised subtitling solutions such as the Sony Access Glasses that you mention. These and other similar types of equipment were trialled in 2013. As with all technology trials, there were benefits and challenges. Without passing the buck, I have asked colleagues at the UKCA – with whom I have shared your letter – to provide you with more detail, as they are more connected to the manufacturers at the centre of the trial than each of us operators.
I hope that helps to give you more detail on the work we’re doing. Please let me know if you have any further questions.”
While I am awaiting for other cinema operators in regards to lack of subtitling in cinemas. Odeon is the only cinema has responded. Perhaps we need to give the some time before other cinema providers could respond appropriately.
© 2016, Grant Ferguson. All rights reserved.