Cinema Access Implementation Plan
On 18 May 2010 a demonstration of the latest digital technology, audio description and captioning devices was presented by the four major cinema chains: Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas (Greater Union Birch Carroll and Coyle), and Reading Cinemas.
During this presentation, these four major cinema chains put forward a proposal for the future rollout of accessible technology.
However, recognising the need to ensure people with disability were consulted in this process, the cinema chains also proposed that an Advisory Group, including representatives of the disability sector, be convened to provide advice and assist the cinema industry in meeting its goals.
These goals are outlined in the following Cinema Access Implementation Plan.
- By the end of 2014 captions and audio description will be available in at least one screen in every one of the 132 cinema complex run by Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas, and Reading Cinemas.
- In addition captions and audio description will 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.
- The timetable for achieving this goal is:
- By the end of 2010, access will be provided in 24 screens (10% of target).
- By the end of 2011, access will be provided in 73 screens (30% of target).
- By the end of 2012, access will be provided in 145 screens (60% of target).
- By the end of 2013, access will be provided in 194 screens (80% of target).
- By the end of 2014, access will be provided in 242 screens (100% of target).
- Captions and audio description will be available at every session of a movie where the screen is caption and audio description equipped. For example, the initial rollout of 10% of screens will result in 840 shows per week of closed captioning and audio description content (i.e. 24 screens at 35 sessions per week).
Location details of accessible cinemas (using the closed caption CaptiView system):
- Hoyts Cinemas, Forest Hill, Victoria
- Event Cinemas, Top Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
- Event Cinemas, Robina, Queensland
- Hoyts Cinemas, Broadway, Sydney, New South Wales
- Reading Cinemas, Charlestown, Newcastle
Location details of analogue/film based cinemas that offer audio description services in addition to open captioning:
- Event Cinemas, Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales
- Hoyts Cinemas, Belconnen, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
- Hoyts Cinemas, Tweed Heads, New South Wales
- Hoyts Cinemas, Erina, New South Wales
- Hoyts Cinemas, Carousel, Perth, Western Australia
Location details of analogue/film based cinemas that offer open captions:
- Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Myer Centre, Brisbane, Queensland
- Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
- Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Casuarina, Darwin, Northern Territory
- Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney, New South Wales
- Event Cinemas, Marion, Adelaide, South Australia
- Greater Union Cinemas, Glendale, Newcastle, New South Wales
- Village Cinemas, Jam Factory, Melbourne, Victoria
- Village Cinemas, Hobart, Tasmania
Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG)
The Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG), includes representatives of the disability sector, was proposed by the four main cinema chains to advise and assist the cinema industry in meeting its goals, to improve cinema accessibility for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, blind or vision impaired.
Functions of ACAG include, but are not limited to:
- Providing advice and assistance to cinemas to facilitate timely implementation of accessible technology.
- Providing feedback on proposed technology solutions and evaluating developments in technology.
- Providing advice and assistance on specific promotional and communication issues around advertising of accessible sessions, including ensuring that the information is accessible to audiences who are deaf or hearing impaired, blind or vision impaired.
- Providing feedback on the provision of accessible movies to encourage implementation of agreed minimum standards of service and communications across all cinemas.
- Providing advice on the development of appropriate channels for complaints/problems to be addressed and resolved quickly and efficiently.
- Assisting in the development, review and distribution of accessible cinema training material for staff within accessible cinemas.
Membership of ACAG
Representatives from the following organisations will form the core membership of the Group:
- 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 & Coyle
- Hoyts Cinemas
- Reading Cinemas
- Village Cinemas
- Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia
- Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
- Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG) News
On the 25 May 2011, ACAG met for the third time. International issues which caused initial delays such as standardisation of technology and licensing arrangements are being resolved. As a result, cinema members advised they will be able to roll-out a further 45 accessible cinema against the Cinema Access Implementation Plan (the Plan), making 50 accessible cinema screens available by the end of 2011. Whilst this is less than the 73 screens expected for 2011 against the Plan, ACAG have been assured that delivery of the final 2014 target of 242 accessible cinemas against the Plan is on track. Information on accessible cinemas can be obtained from the Your Local Cinema website.
During the meeting, ACAG agreed to form two sub-working groups to assist cinemas on communication and operation issues. The cinema industry also agreed to revise the milestones for the plan in early 2012. Further information is in the second Communiqué.
On the 15 December 2010 ACAG released their first Communiqué to advise their members of the progress of the Plan. The cinema chains announced a delay in the roll-out schedule due to circumstances beyond their control, which is explained in the first Communiqué.