Showcase Cinemas in Warwick, Rhode Island, has come under fire after it refused to turn on subtitles for a group of deaf people wanting to watch “Beauty and the Beast.”
According to reports, 18 hearing-impaired people visited the cinema to watch the latest Emma Watson movie, but were turned back when the management refused to cooperate with them.
The group’s leader Tom Riker elaborated upon the incident claiming the cinema’s manager argued that turning on captions would be unfair to other moviegoers at the theater.
Now Riker hopes that state lawmakers will work on a legislation that would require theaters with at least eight screens to accommodate deaf and sight impaired customers.
The legislation would further require specific theaters to turn on captions for movies at least twice a week.
The general rule states that if hearing-impaired patrons make up majority of the people in a theater, and cannot be provided assistive eyeglasses, captions must be turned on. In this case, Showcase Cinemas did not have enough glasses for all 18 people, yet they refused to accommodate their request.
The Massachusetts-based National Amusements, which owns the theater, hasn’t yet commented on the shameful incident. However, it is absolutely outrageous that despite being in 2017, people with disabilities are still blatantly discriminated against.