Subtitled film screenings are to be introduced at the VillaGaiety’s Broadway Cinema, with the first subtitled screening being the film ‘Downton Abbey’ on 22 September 2019.
The VillaGaiety provide captioned performances for selected shows at the Gaiety Theatre. This has now been extended to selected screenings at the Broadway Cinema, enabling people who are hard of hearing to enjoy films and events more regularly.
On the Isle of Man, approximately 1 in 6 of the population has some level of hearing loss. Deafness and hearing loss can cause social isolation. People can become withdrawn leading to them not enjoying entertainment events, shows and films with family and friends.
When subtitles are used, the dialogue is displayed on-screen and the audio or sound portion of a film is described, which allows viewers to follow the script and the action of a film at the same time, which improves the experience and engagement for a person with hearing loss and deafness.
Marlene Maska MLC, Member for Education, Sport and Culture said:
‘The World Health Organization has identified that people with hearing loss are disproportionately affected by social isolation and exclusion. Having hearing loss shouldn't stop you from going to the cinema. Introducing subtitles on selected film screenings at the VillaGaiety, which will ensure access to some of those shows that everyone is talking about, is one step towards achieving better inclusion.’
Lucy Buxton, Communications and Support Manager at the Manx Deaf Society said:
‘On the rare occasions that I do go to the cinema with my family, I miss at least half of what is said. I miss the jokes and witty asides. I find myself wondering what's going on as the plot doesn't make sense.'
‘Watching a film without subtitles isn't enjoyable for me. I find it hard work and I'm tired when I leave. What should be enjoyable, relaxing entertainment becomes an effort, leaving me feel drained, confused and isolated.
‘The provision of subtitled films at the Broadway Cinema will give many people the opportunity to engage socially whilst also giving them something to chat to work colleagues about.’