Deaf News: Deaf man complains after ANOTHER failed subtitled screening of Star Wars

Posted on January 22, 2018

Sign our petition for cinema multiplexes to give deaf people a dedicated subtitles screen here.

Before Christmas, our story about how a subtitled screening of Star Wars went ahead without subtitles, despite deaf people being in the audience, went viral, and sparked our petition, which now has 25,000 signatures.

Now, another Deaf movie fan has been let down at a subtitled screening of the new Star Wars film – this time at Vue in Salford Quays near Manchester.

David Butler (left) wrote on the Pardon Group on Facebook about his experience, with his problems starting when a member of staff gave him a “blank stare” when he asked for T-coil headphones, before the manager gave him a normal set of headphones – which wouldn’t work with his cochlear implant.

After the manager told him he would look into the headphones issue, David went in to watch the new Star Wars film with subtitles, only to find that when the film started, the subtitles did not appear on screen.

David’s daughter got up to tell staff, only to be told that the screening didn’t have subtitles – even though it had been advertised as having subtitles. He ended up watching the film without subtitles.

David concluded on his Facebook post:

Thankfully I managed to follow and understand quite a bit so overall I did enjoy The Last Jedi, but felt very disappointed and let down with the experience; advertised as subtitled, advertised T-loop fitted to all screens, then the staff and manager’s lack of knowledge.

So in conclusion, I won’t be frequenting the Vue ever again, I’ll save a load of diesel and go to my local Odeon instead, at least I know they don’t have T-loop but every film I’ve seen there that was advertised as subtitled has had them.
The cinema industry has a long way to go!

David sent Vue a complaint by email, copying us in, and we then contacted Vue for a response.

Julie Roberts, their Customer Service Manager, replied saying that the reason for the lack of subtitles was a “technical issue,” rather than the screening not being a subtitled screening. She said:

I am sorry to hear that one of your readers attended Vue Lowry to watch a subtitled screening and due to a technical issue we were unable to screen the film in the subtitled format.

I would like to sincerely apologise that the staff at the venue were not fully proficient with our accessibility equipment. I will ensure that the team are retrained in the use of the headsets and loops and that the accessibility information on the Vue Lowry webpage is reviewed.

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