Do Closed Captions in Movie Theaters Exist? Image

Do Closed Captions in Movie Theaters Exist?

By Film Threat Staff | May 14, 2022

A long time ago, cinemas offered the viewers a chance to watch silent movies, which provided a chance for the deaf to watch movies in the cinema. However, when technology changed and the introduction of sound in the cinemas, the deaf had a hard time going to the movies to date because the main focus was on sound without captions. 

Movie cinemas need to introduce captions to the movies they air because this provides a chance for everyone to visit the movies and watch. Moreover, every movie is made differently, and some are made using Verbit’s closed captions while others don’t. Theatres that use Verb’s closed caption give their audience a chance to watch movies using captions, but only if they have the right equipment issued to them by the theatre without being charged for it. 

Some of the theatres that are trying to offer closed captions have things they need to consider so that this can work out, and they are;

The Mirror 

When your client asks for a closed caption movie, you will have to provide a tiny mirror for their cup holders. The words will be displayed at the back of the theatre, and you can use the mirror to reflect the letters. 

Closed Caption Standards

For a theatre that offers movies with closed captions, you will need to have closed caption standards and what this entails is an LED stand which you can use to reflect the words using your cup holder. 

However, this option has its negative parts where timing is an issue where captions can be off and distractive. Because of this, you won’t have a chance to enjoy your movie because you will have to give concentration on two things at the same time. 

AMC On-Screen Caption Addition 

Several theatres like AMC added On-screen captions. AMC captions are one of the biggest theatres in the universe, and that’s why the owner of this theatre decided to add on-screen captions so that those with hearing problems could visit the theatres and watch a movie comfortably. 

Most movie theatres offer closed captioning through appliances which clients find problematic and are prone to malfunctioning. While open captioning is usually shown on the screen and acts more as subtitles, everyone has a chance to see the captions while watching. 

Advocates of the hearing people are trying to find a way of adding captions to the theatres so that they can watch movies. However, they still feel it will be a difficult task because not everyone likes watching movies with captions. Sometimes when customers see the presence of open captions, the tickets bought are usually very few. 

Difference Between Open Captions and Closed Captions 

Closed captions have the opportunity to be turned on and off, giving the viewer alternatives. Moreover, it allows viewers to view various videos in multiple scenarios, such as loud train rides and cradling your child to sleep.  While as for open captions, they are added to the video and cannot be turned off. This works best for people with hearing issues.

Open captions can be used at any time. Moreover, not many theatres have the needed resources for closed captions, which is why open captions are used. The best example of the open caption is in prominent movies. 

The moment the actors use a different language, open captions portray what they are saying in English. An advantage of open closure is that you don’t have to ask yourself how will I turn you off the captions because they only appear when necessary. 

When it comes to viewers, preferences, viewers mostly like to customize their viewing experience, which is where closed captioning comes in. One of the best platforms to use closed captioning is Facebook and YouTube. For YouTube, you could close and open the subtitle feature with one button, and they also offer automatically closed captions. 


Not many movie theatres offer closer captions because not everyone likes watching movies using captions. The captions mostly used in the movie theatres are open captions that don’t benefit deaf people. Moreover, many theatres are trying to offer closed captions, and they are providing the right equipment for this. 

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  1. Cynthia says:

    The movie Cabrini had open captions for the first 15 minutes, then it stopped. But they were still speaking Italian! I was at an AMC theater, and they couldn’t fix it.

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  7. Alicia says:

    This piece was so poorly written it confused me more than it informed me.
    The subject is an important one for filmgoers.
    Try again with some editing…?

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