Dinner and a movie just got better.

Remember when you would plan a “dinner & movie” night with your spouse or the entire family, and it required making reservations two hours in advance of the movie? You hoped that the restaurant was on their “A” game and the food was brought to your table on time so you wouldn’t be late to the theater?

Those days are almost a thing of the past. A few short years ago, movie house eatery’s started popping up around the country, which bring the dinning experience straight to your seat in the theater.

Many of these new theaters offer American fare served at plush reclining chairs inside the theaters.

All seats are sold online in advance and you reserve the seat and row that you like. You can view the menu ahead of time so when you arrive at the theater, you find your seat and are greeted by a friendly wait staff who is ready to take your order. Kick off your shoes, recline back and chat with your spouse, enjoying a beer and cheeseburger while waiting for the movie to start.

While the theater rooms are getting a significant upgrade, so are the movies themselves.

In an article earlier this year, Cinemark Holdings Inc. officials said its new theater design will be entirely digital, and include Cinemark’s XD Extreme Digital Cinema technology that features ceiling-to-floor and wall-to-wall screens and a custom digital surround sound system.
Cinemark’s chief executive officer, Tim Warner, said in a written statement. “Our new high-tech theater will be the perfect entertainment environment for enjoying the best Hollywood has to offer. Cinemark is making bold changes to their theaters throughout California and nationally as they upgrade lobbies, ticket and concession counters and accessibility throughout.

HD (high definition) and 3D films have forever changed the movie experience for millions of us but what about the hearing impaired?

Well, the Department of Justice is issuing a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) in order to propose amendments to its regulation for Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which covers public accommodations and commercial facilities, including movie theaters.

The DOJ is proposing to explicitly require movie theaters to exhibit movies with closed captioning and audio description at all times and for all showings whenever movies are produced, distributed, or otherwise made available with captioning and audio description unless to do so would result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration. The DOJ is also proposing to require movie theaters to have a certain number of individual closed captioning and audio description devices unless to do so would result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration.

The DOJ is proposing a six-month compliance date for movie theaters’ digital movie screens and is seeking public comment on whether it should adopt a four-year compliance date for movie theaters’ analog movie screens or should defer rulemaking on analog screens until a later date.

With 1 in every 4 Americans having some sort of disability and an ever-increasing population that is deaf and hard of hearing, I feel that providing an improved level of communication features inside the theater rooms will ultimately be a win-win for everyone.

Besides, what good is it to enjoy the beer and cheeseburger if you can’t hear or understand the movie?



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