The Peerless Theatre’s closed captioning devices fit in the cup holders on the armrests of each seat in the auditorium. A flexible arm means that each device can be positioned as the viewer needs it. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications
Accessibility at the Peerless
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. In 2010, the Justice Department signaled that a rule about movie theaters would be forthcoming. That rule finally went into effect in 2017, and Holyoke’s Peerless Theatre began raising funds specifically for adaptive equipment in 2018.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Peerless now has equipment on hand to offer closed captioning and audio description for the movies it shows. A raffle made possible by S&W Auto Supply and supported by many generous community members raised enough money to cover about three-fourths of the cost, and the remaining funding came from the theater’s CineMagic event.
The theater has four devices total: two for closed captioning and two for audio description. They came from the company www.qsc.com. Anyone who wishes to use the devices at the Peerless can request them at the concession stand when they go to the movies.
Many people have at least a working knowledge of CC, in which the audio portion of movies or TV programs is transcribed on screen. It can be used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it’s used often enough elsewhere to be recognizable by people without disabilities, too. Think TVs in loud restaurants or videos on a social media newsfeed. Sometimes CC is helpful for viewers who aren’t used to the characters’ accents, too.
The CC available at the Peerless is pretty much what one would expect. Dialogue is transcribed along with sound effects.
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