Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rear Window


There are many reasons that I don't get to see very many movies at the theater these days. The tickets are expensive, the popcorn is expensive (and yes, I HAVE to have popcorn at the movies), the baby sitter is expensive, the selection isn't always worth the money.

Gee, I think there might be a theme here.



But another BIG reason that I wait for the DVDs to come out is because I have a slight hearing loss. It's not significant enough to need hearing aides (though Hilary might disagree with that). The range of sounds that I have the hardest time hearing just happen to be the range of most people's speaking voices. Add in back ground noise and music sound tracks and I miss 1/2 of what is going on. At home I can use Closed Captioning or the wonderful sub-titles that come with most DVDs.

So I skip seeing a lot of movies at the show, which really sucks, because Hilary and I love to go to the movies. Before Liam was born we could easily see 3 movies in 1 weekend, especially once the Oscar nominations were out.

This weekend however, Liam was going to a movie birthday party to see G-Force. The timing was right that Hilary and I could see Julie and Julia at the same time. Being a foodie family we have been looking forward to this movie for a while. My concern was that I wouldn't be able to hear well enough to be able to understand Meryl Streep's British accent.

Then we hit pay dirt! Hilary stumbled across "Rear-Window Captioning"
On the way into the theater, viewers pick up a reflective plastic panel mounted on a flexible stalk. The panel sits in a seat cup holder or on the floor adjacent to the seat. A large LED display is mounted on a rear wall that displays caption characters in mirror image. Viewers move the panels into position (usually below the movie screen) so they can read the reflected captions and watch the movie. It is sometimes necessary to sit in a certain area of the theater to obtain the best angle for reflecting the backward text emitted from the back of the theater on the panel while also being able to view the movie at the same time.


BRILLIANT! The only downfall is that they only have it for 1 of the screens at our local multi-screened theater. Luckily it happend that Julie and Julia was playing there so we got to test it out. It worked like a charm.

I need to save up my pennies because I'm back in business for seeing (and understanding) movies at the theater!
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