Because descriptive video, DVS, is becoming more available with first run movies, and most theaters have the equipment necessary to make it work, by now, the employees of the theaters should have some clue as to what it’s all about. Not so it seems.
Last night, when my friend Dan and I went to see a popular movie in a theater, we asked for the DVS receiver. He had even called ahead to make sure that the movie had DVS and the theater had the equipment. The guy at the counter assured us that this was the right receiver. As anyone reading this blog who is blind can tell you, there’s about a 50% chance that it will be the one for people who are hard of hearing.
After we got settled in our seats, I plugged in the device to see if this was the right one. I heard nothing during the trailers—a good sign. If I heard enhanced sound, I would know that it was the wrong receiver. So it looked promising.
But then the movie started and there was nothing. With a sigh of frustration but good natured resignation, Dan took the unit back to the desk and reported that it didn’t work. Aftger some heated discussion as in
“This device isn’t working.”
”It doesn’t work until the movie starts,” and
“I know. the movie has started.” and
“No, the movie has not started,” and
“Yes, the movie has started,” the manager brought the device into the theater, turned it on, and sure enough. The movie had started and it didn’t work. Imagine that. the customer was right. The manager apologized and gave Dan two passes to another show, which did not impress Dan at all. Why should we come back to this theater only to be disappointed again.
The major problem with this system is that there is no way to tell if you have the right receiver or if it’s going to work properly until the movie itself begins. that means, you either sit there in misery for the rest of the show, which I have done, or your friend has to describe it for you, or your friend has to run back to the front and miss the first 10 minutes of the show while he argues with the management. Surely, somebody smarter than I can figure out how to fix this problem.
But here’s the funny part of this story. the manager, trying to smooth things over brought out a device for enhanced listening. Great. Maybe if I could switch my disability from blindness to deafness, everything would be all better. On another occasion, at a different theater, I was handed a device that provided closed captioning for the deaf.
Dan told me later that a lot of my blog posts infer that people say or do really stupid things, and he thought I was being a little harsh. Now he agrees. Sometimes people do the stupidest things.