New movie technology allows blind or deaf viewers enjoy films

EUREKA, Calif. - James Forbes lost his sight 11 years ago, but he still enjoys movies.

He just enjoys them differently than the way sighted viewers do, using the film's sound to tell the story,

"I can't even put it into words really," he says.

New technology at the Broadway Cinema in Eureka, Calif., gives both blind and deaf viewers the ability to enjoy a movie by themselves.

"My wife or my kids or whoever I am with do not have to talk to me during the film. I do not have to go with anyone else," Forbes explains.

There are two machines. If you're deaf or hearing impaired, a personal closed captioning machine will display the dialogue from the film. 

However, if you are blind, a personal set of headphones will describe the movie scene as it unfolds on the screen.

One theater within the cinema has these capabilities, but manager Jeremiah Juarez says with proper notice, accommodations can be made,

"We do have the ability with prior arrangements switching around the movies, so if the movie they want to see is not in theater No. 1, we can go ahead with 24-hours notice try to rearrange that," says Juarez.

It has been a five-year process trying to get the machines installed into local theaters, and now Forbes along with others just like him can experience a movie comfortably, in their own special way.


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