AMC Theatres expanding onscreen-caption accessibility at locations across the US

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FILE – In this May 13, 2020 file photo, AMC Empire 25 theatre appears on 42nd Street in New York. Last weekend, theaters were cleared to open begin opening in some New York State counties at under 50% capacity and this weekend San Francisco will join in too. New York City and Los Angeles remain closed, however. AMC Theaters and Cinemark are largely up and running. Approximately 54% of screens are open in the U.S., according to the National Association of Theater Owners. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(NewsNation Now) — The world’s largest movie theatre chain is adding onscreen captions to the big screen in an effort to make moviegoing more accessible.

AMC Entertainment said the change, which took effect last week, is aimed at improving the viewing experience of people who are deaf and hard of hearing or for whom English is not their first language.

“Inclusive programming is core to AMC’s strategy, and we’re proud to lead the theatrical exhibition industry by making some open caption showtimes available at hundreds of our locations nationwide,” Elizabeth Frank, AMC’s chief content officer and executive vice president of worldwide programming, said in a statement.

The rollout will cover 240 locations in more than 100 of its U.S. markets.

The company says the “vast majority” of showtimes will continue to be offered with closed captioning, meaning it will still make assisted listening devices available at all of its locations.

AMC said all markets with at least two theaters will also make some open caption showtimes available weekly for all new releases. In addition, open captions will also be offered through AMC’s private theater rentals program at certain locations.

AMC CEO Adam Aron shared the news with moviegoers and noted on Twitter that the open captions are coming just in time for the big-screen arrival of Disney’s Eternals. The film is set to open in theaters Nov. 5, and features deaf actress Lauren Ridloff as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first deaf superhero.

At participating locations, moviegoers can search for open-caption showtimes on AMC Theatres’ website and mobile app.

For a list of AMC locations that offer open caption showtimes, click here.

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