Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Abby

Here's an excerpt from a recent "Dear Abby" letter. You can read her column on line and other places, but this bit should suffice to bring up reasonable criticism. That is criticism needed all around; everyone mentioned (Abby, the theater management, the disturbed patrons, the disturbers) deserves criticism here. We need to educate all these folks:
DEAR ABBY: My son and his girlfriend decided to go to an afternoon matinee. Two older women sat down behind them. When the movie started, one of them began a loud, running commentary to the other.

...He turned around and made a shushing sound, and in a loud voice she responded, "My friend is blind and I'm explaining what's happening on the screen."

My son understood how a blind person might want to enjoy hearing a movie, but ... this was a public place and she would have to wait until they go home to have it explained in full, or wait for the DVD to come out so they could talk at home while it was on.

Abby, wasn't it rude to destroy everyone else's enjoyment of the film? -- SUZANNE

DEAR SUZANNE: Yes. Your son should have taken the problem to the theater usher or manager. Many theaters are equipped with special descriptive audio for blind patrons. If that accommodation was not available, the blind person and her companion should have sat toward the front of the theater or in an area that was less crowded so they didn't distract other audience members. Also, movies with descriptive audio can be obtained at the local library.
It feels like theaters are making descriptive video available just about as slowly as possible. We have a list of movie theater chains on the site. Look at it and make some calls! Write to Abby too, either at the site link mentioned up at the beginning or at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069

No comments: