Accessible Cinema in Australia

On 18 May 2010 the latest digital technology, audio description and captioning devices were demonstrated by the four major cinema chains: Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas (Greater Union, Birch Carroll and Coyle), and Reading Cinemas.

Cinema Access Implementation Plan

The Cinema Access Implementation Plan (the Plan), launched on 17 July 2010, assisted the cinema chains to introduce accessible cinema technology, ensuring a reduction in the number of people with disability being excluded from the mainstream social environment.

The goals outlined in the Plan included:

  • Captions and audio description to be available in at least one screen in every one of the 132 cinema complexes run by Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas, and Reading Cinemas by the end of 2014. 
  • Captions and audio description to be available in:
    • one screen for every complex with 6 or less screens;
    • two screens for every complex with 7 to 12 screens;
    • three screens for every complex with 13 or more screens.

This equates to captions and audio description being provided at 242 screens in 132 complexes by the end of 2014.

  • Captions and audio description to be available at every session of a movie where the screen is caption and audio description equipped. For example, an initial roll-out of 10% of screens would result in 840 shows per week of closed captioning and audio description content (i.e. 24 screens at 35 sessions per week).

The timetable for achieving these goals was that by the end of 2014 access will be provided in 242 screens (100% of target).

The Cinema Access Implementation Plan is now complete.  If you require futher information about cinema access, additional information on captioning and audio description is provided by Media Access Australia .

Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG) and Communiqués

The ACAG, which convened from July 2010 until July 2013, included representatives from the following organisations:

  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Deaf Australia Inc
  • Deafness Forum of Australia
  • Vision Australia
  • Action on Cinema Access
  • Arts Access Australia
  • Media Access Australia
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Event Cinemas  (Greater Union, Birch Carroll and Coyle)
  • Hoyts Cinemas
  • Reading Cinemas
  • Village Cinemas
  • Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Communications

ACAG released Communiqués to provide information on progress against the Plan:

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