5 Tips for an Accessible Movie Theatre Experience

This winter, major blockbusters will bring crowds to the movie theatres. Before watching your favorite flicks on the big screen, it is important to know your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and theatre policies. Read on for MobilityWorks’ guide to have the ultimate, accessible movie theatre experience.

Use Accessible Seating
Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Theatre are two of the biggest movie chains in the United States. Regal’s policy states that all theatres are accessible, and all seating with a wheelchair symbol is reserved only for those with disabilities and their companions.

AMC Theatre also has designated seats with wheelchair spaces. “Some wheelchair spaces may be available even if the show is sold out,” AMC’s policy says. “Be sure to ask at the box office.”

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, only people with mobility disabilities or those purchasing on their behalf can purchase accessible seating. “People with disabilities who do not require the specific features of accessible seating but merely have a preference for them are not entitled to purchase accessible seats,” the act reads.

You can find out more about the Americans with Disabilities Act’s rules on accessible seating here.

Ask About Discounts
Regal Cinema’s policy states, “Guests attending our theatres in an assistance/companion roles for one of our guests with disabilities may be passed in by management.”

It’s best to call your theatre ahead to see if your companion’s ticket can be waived or if other discounts are offered for people with disabilities.

Utilize Assistance
“If you need assistance for any reason, please ask one of our theatre personnel for assistance,” reads Regal Cinema’s policy. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you need anything at all to make your theatre experience an enjoyable one.

AMC Theatres, like many other chains, offers a variety of hearing and vision devices. “Upon request, theatre goers can enjoy assistive listening, audio description and closed captioning devices,” AMC’s policy says.

If you experience any issues with accessibility at a movie theatre, speak up! The theatre may not know that a practice is harming your accessibility. You can contact the theatre’s customer service line listed on their website.

Arrive Early
Whether or not you may need extra assistance, it’s always best to arrive early, especially when watching a popular film. You’ll want to be sure you get a good seat and find the theatre to be accessible with no obstacles. If you do have issues with the theatre’s accessibility, you will have extra time to have them resolved.

Research Ahead
You can search for reviews about how accessible your local movie theatre is on websites like AXS Map. Check out user-generated reviews, pictures and more. The best way to know how accessible a place may be is from other people with disabilities.

Another useful link to check out while planning your movie outing is Caption Fish. The site shows the different levels of captioning offered at your local movie theatres. You can even watch captioned trailers on their website.

Enjoy a completely worry-free experience when you head home from the movies in your wheelchair accessible vehicle from MobilityWorks. Check out our inventory or talk to a Certified Mobility Consultant today to see how you can experience the ultimate in accessibility no matter where you’re going.