On Saturday, April 8th, the Rhode Island movie theater, Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall, refused to activate closed captioning for a group of 18 Deaf and hard of hearing people.
The group was hoping to watch “Beauty and the Beast,” but the manager told them it wouldn’t be fair to the other patrons who didn’t pay to watch a subtitled movie. The group left without being able to watch the film.
Tim Riker, the organizer of the group, said they’re urging state lawmakers to approve pending legislation requiring theater’s with at least 8 showing rooms to accommodate Deaf, hard of hearing, and blind people.
National Amusements, the owners of the theater, have not commented on the incident.
Several theaters offer personal captioning devices, however these devices are often limited, and therefore cannot accommodate a large group of Deaf individuals.