Two Dorset cinemas have been accused of neglecting the deaf community for failing to provide subtitled film screenings, this is a claim made by Members of Bournemouth Deaf Club. Club members said they were in ‘despair’ over the lack of accessible films at the Odeon in Bournemouth and Empire Cinema in Poole.
Odeon said it had been unable to show subtitled screenings due to an equipment fault, which started on 7 August, which it has so far been unable to fix. A spokesman said: ‘Earlier in the year a fault developed in equipment crucial to subtitled screenings at Odeon Bournemouth. Unfortunately repairs are still ongoing which has forced a halt to subtitled performances whilst this essential maintenance continues. For 26 of the 32 weeks prior to the technical fault, Odeon Bournemouth held subtitled screenings of 22 different films.’
Secretary of Bournemouth Deaf Club, Adam Snook said: ‘I agree they showed regular subtitled screenings prior to the fault. The main question is, why it is taking so long to rectify the problem with the subtitling equipment?’
Empire Cinema in Tower Park, Poole, has recently undergone a £2 million upgrade. A spokesman for Empire Cinemas said: ‘We have just finished the refurbishment of the cinema in the summer and until that point we had been unable to show subtitled films. We have now installed digital screens that can show subtitled films and expect to be able to show a new subtitled film in the coming weeks.’