Vue Entertainment – Cinema subtitles – Response

Vue Entertainment – Cinema subtitles – Response

Welcome to the first response of the cinema from Vue Entertainment.

This is what Vue Entertainment came back with the response with the subtitles…

“Thank you for your email regarding subtitled films which has been escalated for my attention. I would firstly like to apologise for the delay in responding to you.

All Vue Cinemas play two subtitled films every week, usually on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. We look to schedule the films at these times so that customers can enjoy these after work. I would be grateful to know which cinema advertised Spectre at 9am as this falls outside of our usual timings.”

 (I agree this screening was not from Vue Entertainment, it was from another cinema provider. Ed)

“We also schedule a subtitled Kids AM film on the second Sunday of every month at all sites except West End and Piccadilly. We endeavor to play a variety of content across our circuit and listings can be found by navigating to the What’s On page and clicking subtitled films.

Despite our consistent approach it remains the case that there are fewer screenings than many of our deaf and hard of hearing customers would like, and that the timing of subtitled screenings remains a challenge. That is because all of the available evidence indicates that subtitled screenings are not generally popular with the wider UK cinema audience, resulting in attendance at such screenings being on average as little as 15 per cent of that for a comparable non-subtitled film. As a result cinema operators forego a significant amount of income in making this provision.

While this is accepted for non-peak screenings, the ‘losses’ incurred in this way for a peak screening would not be viable either for the operator or for the distributor of the film (who takes a significant cut of any box office) and are therefore not viewed as ‘reasonable’ within the meaning of the 2010 Equality Act, which governs the adaptations cinemas must make for disabled customers.

We completely recognise the limitations and frustration of the current approach for such customers and as an industry we are fully committed to finding an alternative solution. Through the UK trade body – the UK Cinema Association – the industry, working with representatives from disability groups, we are currently looking at the viability of so-called ‘personal’ subtitling solutions, where the subtitles are projected not on the big screen, but typically across the lenses of a pair of special glasses worn by the disabled customer. While both cost and operational considerations mean that these are probably still some way off, we hope that progress in this area will in the medium term allow deaf and hearing-impaired customers attend and enjoy a much wider range of films and screening times.

If you have any further suggestions surrounding the scheduling or selection of subtitled content I would be happy to hear them as we strive to ensure everyone has a chance to enjoy the cinema.”

Kind regards,

Customer Services Manager

VUE Entertainment

Deaf Confederacy would be gladly welcome you to add any comments on how to improve these services for the whole of Deaf community. It is your call and it is in your hands to make this possible.

Please feel free to add your comments below.

© 2016, Grant Ferguson. All rights reserved.

/ Programmes/TV/Film, Technology

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Comments (3)

  1. Dougal McAllister :

    It’s an interesting response from VUE Entertainment, I applause their honesty as we are still struggling to access films. Too often, we have to wait for films that were released to be made available with subtitles and then to discover that it is on a day that isn’t ideal for you. Whereas the general public always have a choice over a period of time.

    It’s revealing that they feel that it doesn’t meet under the Equality Act 2010 and they do not have to make any ‘reasonable adjustment’ because it is costing them money.

    The fanfare of subtitles being made available has worn off, too many Deaf customers must have surely become disillusioned with the cinema industry as there have been countless of stories where Deaf people turned up and discovered that the subtitles wouldn’t be available.

    Crazy time slots on Sunday morning is baffling at best, it’s a pity that there are no regular reviews were made by the cinema industry and relevant organisations.

    If certain cinemas are complaining that it is expensive then it is very strange that certain cinemas are screening films at an ungodly hours. It’s a worrying trend when you see Deaf people or hard of hearing people complaining that there wasn’t subtitles made available, are cinemas in the business of saving money by offering subtitles but it never had subtitles? Who are monitoring them to make sure that the cinema industry are not fobbing off customers who needs subtitles to watch films.

    Another thing, we are seeing more and more BSL interpretation of films on TV but it has not been extended to the cinema industry? That’s another area that people should be considering.

    It’s becoming clear that people needs to get together and go onto the next level because nowadays it is very easy to make your own subtitles if you wanted to do so, and practically for free. It should apply to films at the cinema but perhaps business are only too interested in making money?

    There are a lot of questions that needs to be answered and soon!

  2. Tina Lannin :


    That was a good response from Vue. Please keep up the pressure.

    Please join and share our Caption Cinemas campaign at

    Warm regards,

  3. Michelle Hedley :

    I have contacted Vue many times about subtitles. I get pretty much the same answer, they are not legally obliged, hearing cinema goers don’t like subtitles and so on. They insist they are open to suggestions but everytime I do this or ask questions they ignore me! They have never been able to provide me with facts as to how they choose how many films or which film we can have access to, or when we can see it. Nor have they produced evidence that they have physically asked other cinema goers if they object to the subtitles rather than assume they do. They cannot assume that by the lack of attendance at these subtitled screenings that firstly deaf people are not interested, nor that hearing people are deliberately staying away. The timing of the screening is largely responsible for lack of attendance, most deaf people work contrary to any myths that we don’t! Many hearing people work too and thus working hours screenings are not as heavily attended. I have a local independent cinema that shows one film a week over 5 nights. Often one of those 5 nightly screenings will have subtitles but their attendance figures doesn’t change. I believe that is because there is less choice for them and they accept the subtitles. In a chain that offers so many screenings everyday of each film, of course they have a choice! But deaf people don’t. Everytime I ask for a film to be subtitled it is ignored! Vue need to buck their ideas up and actually do what they say!

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