Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Deaf cinema customers urge action

Bournemouth Odeon cinema
The cinema's subtitling equipment developed a fault in August

People with hearing loss have accused two Dorset cinemas of neglecting the deaf community for failing to provide subtitled film screenings.

Members of Bournemouth Deaf Club said they were in "despair" over the lack of accessible films at the Odeon in Bournemouth and Empire Cinema in Poole.

Odeon said it had been unable to show special screenings due to an equipment fault, which it is working to repair.

Empire said recent upgrade work meant it could offer the service soon.

Odeon said its equipment developed a fault on 7 August, but the firm had so far been unable to fix the problem.

Essential maintenance

A spokesman said: "Earlier in the year a fault developed in equipment crucial to subtitled screenings at Odeon Bournemouth.

"Unfortunately repairs are still ongoing which has forced a halt to subtitled performances whilst this essential maintenance continues.

"For 26 of the 32 weeks prior to the technical fault, Odeon Bournemouth held subtitled screenings of 22 different films.

"Performances took place several times a week, including the weekends."

Digital screens

Bournemouth Deaf Club secretary Adam Snook said: "I am not aware of this problem, this is the first time I have heard about this.

"Yes, I agree they showed regular subtitled screenings prior to the fault.

"The main question is, why it is taking so long to rectify the problem with the subtitling equipment? It is November now."

Empire Cinema in Tower Park, Poole, has recently undergone a £2m upgrade.

A spokesman for Empire Cinemas said: "We have just finished the refurbishment of the cinema in the summer and until that point we had been unable to show subtitled films.

"We have now installed digital screens that can show subtitled films and expect to be able to show a new subtitled film in the coming weeks."

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