Closed-caption devices disappoint at Triplex


To the editor:

The ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, was passed in 1990. In 2016, it was amended to require movie theaters showing digital films to provide closed-captioning devices for hearing-impaired patrons. As a moviegoer with a moderately severe hearing loss, last fall I approached my local cinema, the Triplex in Great Barrington, about its obtaining closed-caption devices. The manager explained to me that though large chain theaters could easily provide them, for local independent theaters, they were prohibitively expensive.

Shortly after that conversation, I had occasion to attend films at the Moviehouse in Millerton, N.Y, and the Crandall Theater in Chatham, N.Y. To my surprise, I discovered that both of those small independent theaters had closed-captioning! I watched movies in both places over the course of several months, then went to the Triplex again, told the manager about the Millerton and Chatham cinemas, and was assured that closed-captioning would be coming in June.

In June, a sign did indeed appear at the check-in counter at the Triplex that closed-captioning devices were available. I bought a ticket to a show, and to my disappointment, the screen on the device was blank. The manager apologized and informed me that not all movies had the closed-caption capability, and, unfortunately, this was one of them. I watched movies at the Triplex several times this summer, and each time the closed-caption device (a small metal box with a screen mounted on a flexible pole, attached to the seat or the drink cup) did not work.

I decided to test the Triplex: I viewed the movie "BlackkKlansman" at the Moviehouse in Millerton with closed-caption that functioned beautifully, then the following evening bought a ticket to the same movie at the Triplex. A blank screen again!

Shame on the Triplex. If it going to provide closed-caption devices for hearing disabled folks, the theater should learn how to make them work properly.

Nancy King

Great Barrington



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