The management of Keim Theatres said new assistive technology is making it possible for more people to enjoy the movie-going experience at Bison 6 Cinema in Jamestown and Valley Twin Cinema in Valley City.
The two theaters now provide wireless closed captioning devices for the hearing impaired patron to use at any seat by attaching it to the cup holder, said Cory Keim, general manager. The theaters also provide audio description headphones for the visually impaired that provide a supplementary soundtrack to describe the visual elements in the film, he said.
"Our hope is that these new advances will dramatically enhance the movie-going experience for our guests," Keim said. "The devices are available for all showtimes, every day by just asking about them at the box office counter."
To accommodate the deaf, hard of hearing, blind or otherwise visually impaired, the U.S. Department of Justice required digital movie theaters to provide closed captioning and audio description devices in January 2017. To be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act all digital theaters must have the technology in place for use before June 2.
The rule outlines that theaters with two to seven screens must have at least six closed captioning devices. Bison 6 Cinema has six screens and Valley Twin Cinema has two screens, which require six devices at each theater, Keim said.
The Bison 6 is required to have 19 audio description headphones on hand as a theater with 900 to 1,000 seats. The Valley View Cinema with just over 200 seats must have eight sets of headphones.
Lyman Keim, managing director of Keim Theatres, said the closed captioning device has a cover with a deep window to limit the amount of escaping light from the device.
"It doesn't distract the people around you because of the size of the hood," said Lyman Keim, managing director.