Seventh Communiqué from the Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG)

The Cinema Access Implementation Plan

  • The Cinema Access Implementation Plan (the Plan) is an agreement by the four major cinema chains (Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas and Reading Cinemas) to provide 242 accessible screens in 132 cinema complexes across Australia by the end of 2014.
  • The roll-out of accessible technology, as outlined in the Plan and agreed to by the cinema chains, involves the installation of closed captioning and audio description equipment.

Progress against the Cinema Access Implementation Plan

  • Cinemas are well on track to meeting the full roll-out of the targets outlined in the Plan, with Hoyts, Village and Event having completed their roll-out and Reading anticipating completion of its roll-out by the end of 2013.
  • A total of 213 accessible screens are currently available, ahead of the target in the Plan of 194 accessible screens by the end of 2013.

Testing Accessible Equipment

  • ACAG has been exploring options for testing closed caption and audio description equipment before the feature film commences.
  • Options being explored include: captioning movie trailers and advertising and developing a test message to be aired before the beginning of a movie. This work is being progressed by the cinemas.

Screening Closed Caption Files as Open Captions

  • There have been a number of reports of closed caption files being manipulated to play as open captions on a screen.
  • ACAG was advised that the ability to manipulate closed caption files in this way is currently limited to certain servers and that decoding errors occur when closed caption files are displayed as open captions.
  • ACAG was also advised that the Society for Motion Picture and Television Engineers is unable to endorse displaying closed caption files as open captions as an industry standard.

Accessible Technology

  • New developments in enabling technology continue to emerge, including Sony’s HMZ glasses, Google Glass and invisible captions using polarising glasses.
  • Cinemas will continue to remain aware of developments in enabling technology.

Final ACAG meeting

  • The final ACAG meeting was held on 30 July 2013. 
  • Current ACAG members remain committed to the successful implementation of the Plan and to resolving issues identified through feedback, directly with the cinema chains.

Your feedback

  • Feedback about your cinema experience can be provided to accessible.cinema@dss.gov.au. Your feedback will continue to help inform cinemas about ways to improve your future accessible cinema experience.
Content Updated: 13 November 2013