Pilot Program Adds Open Captions to Movie-Going Experience


An agreement has been reached between Delaware lawmakers, advocates and Delaware movie theater operators. This agreement will increase access at theaters for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing throughout the state. The Memorandum of understanding outlines a year-long pilot program where theaters will offer regular showings of first-run movies using open captions on the screen. The program is already underway and several theaters statewide already offer open captions.

Downstate open captions will be offered by four theater groups. Milford Movies will show three open captioned movies per new title each week with one Saturday matinee, and weekday matinee shows on Mondays and Wednesdays.

AMC Theatres – AMC Classic Dover 14 already participates in the open caption program. For all week-one wide release titles with open captions available, open caption showtimes are scheduled for at least one matinee time (1:00 – 4:00 pm) on one weekend day (Fri/Sat/Sun), and one evening, first prime show (5:00 – 8:00 pm) during the week (Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu). For all blockbuster titles, the number of open captioned showtimes is increased with one show per day in its first full week of release followed by a second week of one weekend matinee and one weekday prime show.

The Clayton Theatre is a single-screen cinema operating in Dagsboro. The theatre offers weekly open captioned matinees every Wednesday.

The Movies at Midway Theatre in Rehoboth Beach, will offer open captioned matinee showings of new releases on Sundays. The number of showtimes will increase with demand and additional film product.

During the pilot program, National Association of Theatre Owners members will collect data on the impact on theater operations for open captioned shows and share that data with interested parties. NATO will also request anonymized customer feedback data be shared as part of the data collection.