Deaf community seeking closed-captioning during movies

Miss San Antonio hopes for closed captioning options at all Santikos locations

SAN ANTONIO – It's the day that many “Star Wars” fans have been waiting for, the release of the 7th installment in the main “Star Wars” film series. However, not everyone will get to enjoy the entire film because they won't be able to hear it.

Miss San Antonio Emma Rudkin, who is deaf said she is disappointed that there won't be accommodations for her to help hear the movie at the Palladium.

Rudkin said she was told at the Palladium Theater that they had listening devices for the hearing impaired, but they don't have readers with closed captioning.

Santikos released this statement on Thursday afternoon:

"Santikos Theatres has always had a good relationship with the deaf community. For the last year-and-a-half we have had ‘Open Captions’ at the Santikos Rialto for films requested by the DNOSA, a local deaf and hard of hearing organization. This Saturday at 7:15 there will be a showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Santikos Rialto in open captions and we are the only cinema chain in San Antonio doing this. At all of our locations there are hard of hearing listening devices and at select locations there readers that sit on the cup holders for the deaf that are available at Guest Services in our lobby's."


However, Rudkin said the listening devices that are available at all Santikos theaters, which look like headphones, only help people who have mild hearing loss. But for someone like her, who can only hear half the alphabet, it's difficult to really take in the entire movie.

"I'm a little disappointed in the fact that it's only at one theater at a certain time," said Rudkin. "The whole point is that you don't want it to be something that I am singled out or discriminated against."

KSAT has been told that Santikos is in the process of getting the captioning option at all of its theaters and it is evaluating the best options for captioning that will work with the digital projectors that it has.

However, the theater chain said it is too early to give a timeline.

"I've been trying for six years for this to happen so I hope that they follow through with providing a captioning system (At the Palladium)," said Rudkin.

About the Author:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.