Deaf filmgoers claim their subtitled screening plans foiled at Preston Vue
A deaf film-goer from South Ribble claims some cinemas across the country are not honouring subtitled screenings of films for those who need them.
Len Hodson, a member of the Lancashire Deaf Rights Group, says he and a group of film fans were left furious after they attended a special screening of the horror film IT at The Vue in Preston, only to be told it would be a normal screening without subtitles.
Mr Hodson, who lives at Lostock Hall, says the management team on duty decided to screen a non-subtitled showing of the film instead because non-deaf people were already in and expected a regular screening.
The small group of deaf people had turned up for a special 6.15pm screening at the cinema last month.
A spokesman for The Vue claims that after a delay, the subtitled film was shown as planned.
But this is disputed by Mr Hodson, who says the group were offered complementary tickets for another day but ended up leaving the venue.
Mr Hodson said: “I am becoming concerned about the problem with cinema managers ignoring deaf film goers who expect to watch a film with subtitles.
“That’s what happened at Preston Vue, when deaf cinema goers were told the subtitles couldn’t be shown because some hearing people wanted no subtitles.
“Those people came at the time specially for deaf people and were bitterly disappointed.
“Unlike people with hearing, the subtitled version of the film is the only chance they have to see it.
“The day and time of the showing with subtitles is a special treat for deaf people and cinemas should honour that.
“This is an abuse to deaf people’s rights and it is happening at other cinemas in the UK.”
Among the deaf people attending were Lesley Webster, Claire Mingay and Lesley Davidson, who insisted staff were not helpful.
And Ann Spence, of Leyland, who has close links with the Lancashire Deaf Rights Group, said; “It isn’t just a question of switching subtitles on and off, these special versions have to be screened from the outset.
“The Vue should have done it straightaway, as advertised.”
A spokesman for The Vue said: “We’ve been in touch with the cinema who advised there was an initial error in the subtitling which was then remedied before the screening was resumed with subtitles.”