Slumdog subtitles at the cinema for deaf people

Slumdog MillionaireI popped over to Fulham on Sunday afternoon to see a film I had been dying to see for ages – Slumdog Millionaire. Despite being one of the most popular films around at the moment, this was the first opportunity I’d had to go and see the film at a time which wouldn’t require me to bunk off from my job and that wasn’t so far out of London that I might risk entering… *shudder*… suburbia.

The only other opportunity came around a month ago when it was shown at Barbican for, apparently, one night only and which clashed with the night of my anniversary. I’m not sure my partner would have approved if I’d suggested popcorn for a romantic dinner – though given how few subtitled screenings there are, I did think about it…

Anyhow, finally got a chance to see Slumdog Millionaire. Bought some popcorn, met my friend, settled down, lights dimmed, film started. And then what happened? No subtitles.

I was furious. My Hearing Friend for a Deaf Person, Catherine, went out to make inquiries and was told that the projector wasn’t working. Catherine told me though that the distinct impression given was that someone had just forgotten to turn the subtitles on. After about 5 minutes, the subtitles finally came on.

It was only 5 minutes, and I did stay and enjoy the rest of the film. But it didn’t alleviate my fury. It’s just not good enough to show virtually no subtitled screenings of this film in central London at a sensible time and then screw up the subtitles. If the sound had been off, I’m sure all hell would have broken loose and people would have demanded the film be restarted. This film just carried on as if it was a minor whoops-a-daisy mistake.

I’ve written to the cinema to complain and will let you know how I get on. But deaf children and adults clearly have a lot longer to wait for genuine access and proper customer care.


2 thoughts on “Slumdog subtitles at the cinema for deaf people

  1. hi ian, you re going through what most of us have had to ensure. getting up to go find a staff after the film started, and maybe missed something good. If you complain, they sometimes give you a free ticket for next time. it happens so often i ve stopped going. in fact the last film i saw on the big screen must be ‘day after tomorrow’ and to think i was a very avid film goer in my youth, by dragging my deaf-yet-can-hear-well boyfriend and making him interpret everything haha
    this is first time i ve come across your blog and i look forward to reading more.

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