Accessible cinema rollout - the first six weeks

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Friday, 11 February 2011 16:20pm

It's been six weeks since the Cinema Access Implementation Plan began to roll out in major Australian cinema chain locations. Media Access Australia has received feedback from a variety of patrons as well as from the cinemas themselves.

The feedback has been both positive and negative and a number of issues have been raised. 

The three locations screening movies with the new CaptiView units are Hoyts Broadway, Reading Charlestown and Event Cinemas Robina.  

Feedback on CaptiView captioned sessions:

  • The general impression of the units is good. Media Access Australia has not received any negative comments about the unit's ease of use, font colour and size, or comments on focus issues.  
  • Patrons at Event Cinemas Robina have reported 'stuck' captions at a number of sessions and the need to re-boot the unit and tune it into the auditorium. This issue is currently being dealt with by the cinema and manufacturer. 
  • Patrons at Hoyts Broadway and Reading Cinemas have reported that front of house staff are sometimes lacking in their knowledge of the service. Patrons are expecting at least a basic level of understanding to accommodate ticket sales for closed captioned sessions but some patrons have been turned away. This point has been made to the cinemas and it is hoped that further staff training is undertaken.

The five locations screening movies with audio description are Hoyts Belconnen, Hoyts Erina, Hoyts Carousel, Hoyts Tweed City, and Event Cinemas Parramatta.

Feedback on audio described sessions:

  • Sessions at Event Cinemas Parramatta were not initially advertised either online or in newspapers. Front of house staff also had no knowledge of sessions. These problems have been somewhat sorted with Event Cinemas now advertising online.
  • Patrons have asked whether they can take their own earbuds to listen to the audio description. At this point in time it is not the case. The headsets are over-the-head, wireless receivers as opposed to a receiver with separate headsets. The cinemas do clean the headsets after every use.
  • Hoyts Carousel patrons have reported that the cinema does not always present six accessible sessions per week. This situation is being monitored by Media Access Australia.

Media Access Australia welcomes your feedback and would like to hear from more accessible cinema fans about your experiences at your local cinema. Please email your comments to e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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