I’ll start off by admitting that I am a huge Star Trek fan! I may not be as crazed as some Trekkies out there, but I love it. The TV shows, the movies, the books, I even have a toy Starship Enterprise. So there’s my disclaimer.
Yesterday, my husband and I actually got to go and see the newest Star Trek movie. We planned the day, got a babysitter, the whole 9 yards! Of utmost importance in our plan was to find out where we would have access to the movie with Audio Description. This was an important aspect of the plan, since most theaters near us do not have the equipment available. We knew the movie itself had been equip with the necessary audio track, so we went to the internet to find out where we could go. We decided on the Bob Bullock IMAX Theater. They have the equipment, the sound there is fantastic, and my sighted husband would get to enjoy the film on a life-size screen. The Bob Bullock Theater seems to have a lot of accessibility features, so we thought for sure they would have the descriptions available, as long as the film provided the track. I didn’t even mind paying a little extra for the tickets, since I would get to enjoy the description along with the superb theater sound. So, I bought our tickets ahead of time, the date was set.
We arrived at the theater a little over an hour early and the line to get in was already very long, everyone wanting the best seats in the house. It was sold out, which was why we bought our tickets ahead of time. We asked the man at the front desk about the Audio Description and he said that should not be a problem, we would just ask the theater master at the door just before giving her our tickets. We went right to her and asked, and she looked right at me and then asked if we wanted the little machine that showed the captions/subtitles. We explained to her that we wanted the headphones in order to hear the audio description that we knew the movie was released with. She called someone and then told us that they do not offer this film with Audio Description. We almost left in frustration, but we had been anticipating this movie for so long, planned for a sitter and had it all scheduled. I didn’t know when or if the opportunity would come again, so we stayed and attended the movie.
It was a great show, but as I had expected, filled with action. My husband was trying to describe quietly what was happening, but it was hard to hear everything and I know I missed many of the details. I couldn’t help but be frustrated, knowing the movie was provided in audio description, that this theater had the equipment needed, and yet I could not access it. Very possibly it would have been a matter of plugging something in and voila, I would have been privy to description of the action as it happened.
My advice, call ahead, don’t just look on the internet. Take a look at the list of theaters with the proper equipment, then check and double check that your movie is available before making your plans. Really, we should have walked out of there to make the point, but that just didn’t seem fair either. So, I may never get to see the movie with Audio Description, unless they make it available on the DVD release. I am very disappointed, yet it really was a cool movie. I guess I just don’t understand why it wasn’t available when the audio and equipment were there? I wonder who would be the one to ask that question? One consolation is that there is an audio book, so I can read it and get what I missed at the movies.