So my friend and I wanted to watch ‘Victoria and Abdul’ at the Cinema yesterday. 

“When will we watch it”? She asks me one day. 

“Whenever there is closed captions available”! I reply.

Going to the movies has always been a frustrating experience for me. I can’t simply meet up with friends and go watch any movie at any time. 

I have to make sure that there movie is accessible. Meaning that there is closed caption device to assist me in understanding the movie. 

Image result for closed captioning devices

A closed captioning device

Australia is really behind when it comes to accessible movies. Yes, it is better than when I was a kid. But not all locations have closed captions and not all movies have accessibility and not all times!

So if I wanted to watch a particular movie, I had to search through their websites to ensure there is a closed caption session I can attend. Sometimes they might not even make the movie I want accessible.

Anyways so we want to watch Victoria and Abdul. I looked at both Events and Hoyts cinema and only Hoyts at Eastgardens have Victoria and Abdul with close caption device.

Events cinema doesn’t have captions for that movie but has the loop and infrared option available. I don’t use these. I like the close captioning device where I can follow along what’s being said with the movies.

So I tell my friend Hoyts EastGardens has Victoria and Abdul at 6.10pm Tuesday night.  

Even though we are both busy we make our way to Eastgardens and arrive a little bit late

I order 2 tickets and request a closed captioning device. The man goes in to check and comes back.

“Sorry the close captioning device for Victoria and Abdul is already booked out”. He says. 

I frown. 

“Next time you can call and book the device in advance”. He adds.

I didn’t know that ?! I could have called ahead and booked the device?? 

And there’s only 1 close captioning device per movie ??! 

I can tell the guy is looking at me and I’m trying hard to hide my expression. Yes I am upset, but I wasn’t surprised. Every time I want to watch a movie, there has to be an issue. The device is not available, or the movie is not available or the device keeps falling out of the cup holder or the time or place is not available. All these issues ruins the whole experience for someone like me. 

“What other movie has captions available?” My friend asks.

“Girls Trip which starts in about 10 mins” says they guy. 

I look at my friend and apologise for dragging her all the way here and not being able to watch the movie we want to watch.

“It’s ok we came all this way, we might as well watch something” she says.

My friend has been understanding and supportive and makes me feel a bit guilty as well for making her accommodate me.

The guy was nice and he even gave me a complimentary free ticket to watch the other movie!

We order popcorn drinks and lots of lollies and sit in the reclining seats and watch “Girls Trip”.

While it was not the movie we intended to watch, it was still an enjoyable experience and the device worked perfectly without any hiccups, which is a first.

But overall it is a bittersweet and frustrating experience.

I hope more movie sessions are made more accessible and more devices are available so it would be a more smooth and enjoyable experience for deaf and hard of hearing people like myself.

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