Going to the Movies with Hearing loss

I must say, I really missed going to the movies.  It had been years since I graced the dark room, sat in the good seats, and enjoyed a movie in the theater.  For too long have I waited until a good movie came to video.  I often just missed them all together.

I know now that all theaters are required to have closed captioning for all digital movies*.   I admit it was intimidating for me.  I asked at one theater a long time ago and they had no idea what I was talking about, even though they had a sign in their window that showed they have have equipment for the hard of hearing.

Stuart and I decided to take a chance and go to the theater close to us.  It said on line that they have the equipment and they have it available for almost every movie.  We decided to go to a movie that had been out for a while, during a matinee.  It was the right choice, we were the only ones in the theater, a great way for me to find out just how to use the closed captioning device.

This is like the caption box I used.  image source 

The device looks like a box connected to a flexible arm with this round object on the other end.  The round object fits perfectly in your cup holder, you use the flexible arm to position the box where you want it.  I put it so that the captions would be at the bottom of the screen, like it is at home.  It took me a while to figure out exactly how I wanted the box.  I was grateful that some of the trailers were captioned so I could get it right before the movie started.  We sat in seats in the center, kind of up front.  Not the seats closest to the screen, the first row after you go up the stairs.  I found this to be too close to put the captions in the right place.  We needed to move back a couple of rows, it worked perfectly there.

captions for theater
this is what the captions look like.   Image source

We saw the Batman Lego movie, and it was a hoot.  It was great to see all that action and the cute little quips that they made about Batman through the ages.

lego batman
image from Wikipedia

I will be seeing more movies in the future.  If you need closed captioning to see a movie, I suggest you give it a try.  The first time you use it I suggest going to a movie that has been out a while so the theater won’t be full.  Then you can move around to find the perfect seat for you to see everything and see the caption box too.

I admit it was a little different because the captions are close to you and the movie is far away.  It took a minute or two for me to get used to this.

Some theaters offer glasses you can use and they transmit the text right before your eyes.  I don’t think these would work with me since I already wear glasses.  I heard that the glasses can get heavy.  Here’s a link to read all about the glasses.

captions sony glasses
this is an example what some of the glasses look like.

Other movie theaters have a hearing loop.  “A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant.”  Hearing Loss Association of America

hearing loop
image source here

My cochlear implants do have telecoil (T-coil), but I haven’t seen a theater around here that offers this option.  I hope to try this option in the future.

Let’s all go to the movies!

*according to a ruling on November 21, 2016, theaters are required to accommodate persons with disabilities, including closed captioning for all Digital movies.  You can read more about this on the ADA site. 



15 thoughts on “Going to the Movies with Hearing loss

  1. Good for you! Rarely do Jeff and I go to the movies as I can’t sit that long in the new theatre seats. But there is some improvements being made. We have an old refurbished theatre with the rocking chair seats. LOVE that theatre. I’ll see almost anything there. So happy going to the movies is once again a fun option for you and Stuart. What will you see next???!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic. So great to see that cinemas are doing this. As I have good hearing still in my right ear, I can still follow movies quite well. My problem is that with my hearing loss, i became very sensitive to sound…I am looking to invest in some noise cancelling headphones, so that i can go to the cinema again. I’d like to see the Lego Batman movie too! Carly

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sound Sensitivity and Sensory Integration | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. God bless the ADA — WHAT a service they provide to what is otherwise a rather exclusionary society! They targeted the element that most profits from the sale of films. I’m sure they grumbled, but the studios can easily afford to include this technology, and I’ll bet it will even turn out to pay for itself for theatre owners themselves in additional seats that would otherwise have gone unfilled.

    I don’t know the hearing loss statistics – but I’m willing to be that hearing loss affects a much larger segment of the population than most of us realize (especially in the aging community, who would be likely to fill those matinees if they were more senior-friendly).

    I’m thrilled you can go to the movies again – especially during the coming summer when getting out of the house without having to remain in the heat is a real treat. I’m with you on movie popcorn. I pop corn at home frequently, but it’s never quite the same thing. I’m so glad to hear you gave this a go, and that your experience was positive enough to try it again. I’ll bet this post will encourage a few others – and I will certainly pass on the info.

    I’m going back to add a link to my “Sound Sensitivity” article as well, even though it’s not exactly about hearing loss, I think these new technologies will be useful for many.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”


    1. The theater said they get a lot of call for the caption boxes. I thought that was great!
      The theater I was at has recliners to sit in. It’s marvelous. I think they would make it more senior friendly. But easier to fall asleep during the movie. It also had plenty of room for those who are disabled and can’t climb steps. They really try to serve everyone. And there are 21 theaters there! You can see anything!
      I really am thrilled about this new discovery. I love going to the movies!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love it too – but not so much unless I can share thoughts about the movie with a friend once it is over. One of the many things I have missed since I left acting were the lively discussions following plays and films we saw – and that seeing them was practically a universal pass time in that crowd.

        Non-actors don’t seem to notice the same elements (or appreciate the same films), tho’ I still like reflecting on shows with anyone who pays attention to anything about them. Simply watching and returning home alone doesn’t quite scratch the same itch!

        I’m thrilled for you and Stuart now have something else to do as a couple – and that both of you can actually follow them to enjoy them together. In recliners, even. That sounds heavenly!

        Liked by 1 person

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