Theater Guide - December 2013

What’s more fun than a trip to the movies? Several technologies are available to make movies accessible for people with vision or hearing loss. This summaryis from VSA Minnesota.

Rear Window Captioning displays reversed captions on a light-emitting diode (LED) text display which is mounted in the rear of a theater. Patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing use transparent acrylic panels attached to their seats to reflect the captions so they appear superimposed on the movie screen. The reflective panels are portable and adjustable, enabling the caption user to sit anywhere in the theater without bothering patrons in surrounding seats. The LED display is easy to read.

DVS Theatrical presents concise descriptive narration of visual cues, including actions, settings, scene changes, facial expressions and silent movement, through an FM or infrared system, making movies more meaningful to people with vision loss. The moviegoer hears the narration on a headset without disturbing other audience members and at no extra cost. The Media Access Group at WGBH in Boston developed Rear Window Captioning and DVS Theatrical. Films equipped with MoPix or motion picture access technology can be found by calling 617-300-3400 or TTY: 617-300-2489. The website is http://ncam.wgbh.org/mopix/nowshowing.html#mn or e-mail: access@wgbh.org

Some cinemas use other variations of open captioning, which is a text display of words and sounds heard during a performance, film, video, speech or dialogue. The display is “open” for anyone to see in a particular seating area. The website www.captionfish.com lists cinemas with these access features. Put in your zip code and the site will give current listings of nearby movies with open or closed captioning, an audio description track, or English subtitles in foreign films. Minnesota theaters offer a variety of services. Contact the theater before attending as options may change.

Science Museum of Minnesota Omnitheater, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., in St. Paul is showing “Mystery of the Maya” shows with Closed Rear View Captioning, audio description and Spanish translation. Filmed on location at sacred sites throughout the Maya regions of Central America, this 45-minute film features reenactments of the early 19th century archaeological expeditions that uncovered what is known about Mayan civilization. An accompanying exhibit, “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” will be at the Science Museum until Jan. 5, 2014. Omnitheater tickets are $8 adults, $7 senior/child, additional cost to tour museum; members free. Online ordering add $3 service fee. To request accommodations for exhibits, call at least 72 hours in advance, at 651-221-9406. The Science Museum is open Tue-Wed 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thu-Sat 9:30 a.m. -9 p.m., Sun 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Mon. Phone is 651-221-9444 or 800-221-9444, option 2 for Omnitheater film times, reservations or questions; TTY is 651-221-4585. For accessibility information, visit www.smm.org/accessibility; the main website is www.smm.org 

Landmark Theatres offer CaptiView Closed Caption Viewing Systems, which allow people to read movie dialogue from the comfort of their seat anywhere in the auditorium, and Fidelio, a wireless audio system that delivers descriptive narration for people with vision loss and amplified sound for people with hearing loss. Patrons can get a compact audio receiver with a plug-in headset at the box office or bring their own headsets. Descriptive Narration and closed captioning availability is subject to the content made available from distributors. All films are available with amplified sound through Assisted Listening Devices. The theaters are Edina Cinema, 3911 W. 50th St., Edina, phone 952-920-8796; Uptown Theatre, 2906 Hennepin Ave., Mpls, phone 612-823-3005;and Lagoon Cinema:,1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls, phone 612-823-3020. Website for the theaters is www.LandmarkTheatres.com  or www.landmarktheatres.com/ada/captiview_fidelio.htm.

AMC Theatres offer accessible films. Eden Prairie Mall 18 Theatres, Auditorium 7, Eden Prairie Shopping Center, 8251 Flying Cloud Drive Suite 4000, Eden Prairie; phone is 952-656-0010. Park in upper level lot between Sears and Kohl’s. AMC Rosedale 14 Theatres, Auditorium 14, 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville; phone is 651-604-9347. AMC Showplace Inver Grove 16, 5567 Bishop Ave., Inver Grove Heights, offers open captioned films generally Wed-Thu; phone is 651-453-1916. General information for all AMC Theatres is 1-888-262-4386. Website is www.amcentertainment.com

Regal Theatres offers films with open captioning or descriptive video. Regal Brooklyn Center 20, 6420 Camden Ave N, Minneapolis; phone is 763-560-6300. Regal Eagan 16, 2055 Cliff Road, Eagan; phone is 651-452-8329. Website is www.fandango.com/55122_movietheatershowtimes

Marcus Theatres offer different accommodations by theater. Oakdale Ultrascreen Cinemas, 5677 Hadley Ave. N., Oakdale, uses Digital Theatre Systems to superimpose open-captions over the bottom of select movies on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. Phone is 651-770-4992; Subscribe to Open Caption weekly e-mail at www.marcustheatres.com/opencaption.cfm  

Marcus Lakes Cinema, 4351 Stebner Rd., Hermantown, and Marcus Duluth Theatre, 300 Harbor Drive, Duluth, both offer Rear Window Captioning and DVS when available. Phone is 218-729-0335. Website is www.marcustheatres.com 

The Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul doesn’t currently have audio described or captioned films, but does offer foreign films with English captions, at St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main St., Mpls. Phone is 612-331-7563. Website is www.mspfilmsociety.org