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Unitron Hear Life - November 2023

Media Access Group at WGBH Announces a New Installation of MoPix Technology at Universal CityWalk and a Special Screening Pre


People With Vision and Hearing Loss to Experience First-Run Films Using Innovative MoPix Technology

Loews Cineplex Entertainment has announced an installation of Motion Picture Access (MoPix) technology in its Universal City Cinemas. This highly innovative technology -- which is composed of the DVS Theatrical(R) and Rear Window(R) Captioning systems -- was developed by the Boston-based Media Access Group at WGBH.

The installation marks the second Southern California theater to provide MoPix technology to its patrons who are blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing; General Cinema in Sherman Oaks, Calif., was the first theater to install this revolutionary system.

MoPix technology maximizes the theater-going experience for people with vision or hearing loss. DVS Theatrical delivers audio description to blind and visually impaired patrons via infrared headsets. The system provides narrated descriptions of each scene's key visual elements (i.e., characters' facial expressions or gestures, scene context, etc.) during the natural pauses in the dialogue.

For moviegoers who are deaf or hard of hearing, portable small screen reflectors (which attach to the armrest of the theater seat) allow them to read captions from a reverse-caption display at the rear of the theater. Unlike subtitles or other captioning systems, the Rear Window system allows patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing to read captions without distracting or altering the theater experience of other patrons in the auditorium.

'Like so many people in America, people who are blind or deaf love the movies, want to see the latest Hollywood films, and enjoy the movies when everyone else does,' said Larry Goldberg, director of the Media Access Group at WGBH. 'The MoPix system provides them this opportunity, the day the film opens, during regular screenings with the rest of the moviegoing audience.'

'Loews Cineplex Entertainment is proud to bring closed captions and audio description to this very deserving audience. We're happy to be a part of the effort making first-run feature films accessible to everyone,' said Travis Reid, president of Loews Cineplex United States.

'Loews Cineplex Entertainment appreciates that MoPix allows hard of hearing and visually impaired patrons and their hearing and sighted families and friends to enjoy movies with the rest of the audience.'

For many years, members of the deaf and blind communities have been unable to enjoy first-run feature films in theaters -- an experience taken for granted by those without disabilities. While most Hollywood films are available with captions and descriptions for their home video release, it is only recently that captioning and description technology has become available in first-run movie theaters.

The Media Access Group's mission for the MoPix system is to continually improve the entertainment experience for those who are visually impaired or hard of hearing -- previously underserved populations that include more than 35 million Americans.

Additional installations of MoPix technology are expected to provide fiscal rewards for the film industry as a whole. The financial impact of the blind and deaf communities attending a film on its opening weekend and beyond will be significant not only to the equipped theater, but to the overall performance of a particular film

-- making the advent of MoPix good news for the movie industry.

With the increasing availability of the MoPix system, no longer will members of this audience wait for the home video release of the latest films -- they can head to their local theater and watch it with their friends and family.

To celebrate the MoPix installation at Loews Cineplex Universal City Cinemas, the Media Access Group at WGBH is hosting a gala MoPix premiere of Universal's highly anticipated summer event -- 'Jurassic Park III' -- on Tuesday, July 24. The Media Access Group feels that this film, which incorporates action, adventure and numerous special effects, offers a perfect opportunity to showcase what MoPix technology can provide.

'We're honored to be hosting this special screening of 'Jurassic Park III' at CityWalk's Universal City Cinemas, celebrating the newest MoPix installation and the latest fully accessible film,' said Goldberg.

The premiere will attract a mix of celebrities, industry executives and other supporters, all of whom understand the importance of the MoPix technology. A private cocktail party will follow.

For more information on Media Access Group at WGBH, MoPix technology or the gala screening event, contact Judy Dixon or Ali Forman at dominion3, 323/466-3393, or or
Signia Xperience - July 2024

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