After all the palaver earlier this week with the subtitled cinema (more details- click here!). I’m pleased to have an update!
My family and I went to the cinema yesterday at 9:30am to watch Spectre, as we didn’t really have a choice. It was the only one that we knew of during half term, during the opening week!
Before we were due to go, Mum looked on the Odeon website and noticed they had put a last minute subtitled showing on later that day at 3pm, and we couldn’t really do much as we were all up and ready to go! When we arrived we asked if we could organise a meeting with the manager. Another member of staff, ‘B’ came and spoke to us. He was lovely and said he will try and get a meeting sorted, and asked what the issue was. He gave his viewpoint- ‘people don’t complain’ but ‘yes we do have a policy not to show subtitles in the opening week as there is no demand’. However on the phone, the manager said that people do complain?!
I was arguing the fact that there is demand, because they never show any subtitles so all deaf people are being pushed away, therefore they think there isn’t any! We could sense a bit of lying going on! We left our contact details for the manager to get back to us to organise a meeting.
The film itself was great! Mum commented to B at the end, about how nice it was to go as a family, so I’m hoping we can change things now.
This morning, my emails had only just come through- one from Odeon Social Media saying they were sorry to hear about what happened (as I’d been tweeting about it) and that they invite us to the 3pm showing, for free, and the manager would greet us- how annoying that the email came in late! We’d already paid £35 and went early morning!
Mum phoned up Odeon Social Media and spoke to the social media manager who was lovely. He will get us in touch with the regional manager who seems very keen to meet us to get this sorted. I guess they don’t like negative publicity! He said there is no such policy anywhere, so they will investigate into that, and apparently people don’t really complain! I have been tweeting and asking deaf people for their views and I have screenshotted them all as evidence that there is a demand. We are hoping for more reasonable showings, some at weekends and in evenings so it gives us more choice and freedom, especially showings in the opening week and advertised well in advance using the yourlocalcinema website.
We also phoned up the Equality Advisory Support Service to find out how it comes under terms with the Equality Act 2010, and they said cinemas should make reasonable adjustments. I know they might have wheelchair ramps and hearing loops, it’s still not reasonable because it’s not accessible for us. If the meeting doesn’t go well, the EASS will send a letter to Odeon to inform them that they aren’t complying with the act, so it’s good that we have this resource to use.
If we get a good response from this meeting, we are hoping to take it nationally, so I’d be more than happy for you to pass all this information onto the Cinema Association. We will also try to tackle Vue and Cineworld and hopefully the situation will become much better.
More exciting news, I have just received my blogging contract! I can’t wait to sign it and share with you which company it’s with!
I have also been invited to Action on Hearing Loss’ ‘Hearing Matters’ launch on Wednesday at the House of Commons! I’m so excited and will definitely share my experience with you!
In the meantime, if you could leave a comment or tweet to me (@deafieblogger) about your personal experiences with subtitled cinema, and what improvements you’d like to see! I will use these in the meeting with Odeon and hopefully we’ll get a positive response. I look forward to hearing your responses!
Love E x