Theres something about the experience of going to the cinema that makes planning a trip to see the latest film so exciting. From buying popcorn, to sitting in a darkened room waiting for the film to start, you get a wonderful sense of community. Watching a film on your TV at home is just not as good. But what if that experience is ruined by the fact that your local cinema has no disabled cinema access. What if you need extra help to be able hear, see, or sit in your wheelchair, to view the film. What if theres no disabled toilet facility, your stuck!
Luckily the Odeon franchise has thought of all these scenarios and have produced a 'General statement' that lists the questions someone might ask regarding access.
The General statement says:-
Odeon we will strive to deliver the service that people demand and deserve. They will endeavour to create a culture and environment that eliminates unfair discrimination. A culture that actively promotes the productive working relationship between unique contributions of different individuals, in all their operations.
Odeon aim to make their cinemas as accessible as reasonably possible by removing barriers to access. Screens are rotated so each film is shown in an accessible screen at some point. Checking for wheelchair accessible performances is simple, just select “Wheelchair friendly” filter when viewing the performances at your cinema.
If you require someone to facilitate your visit to the cinema check the “Guests requiring assistance” section, to see how you can get a free ticket for your companion.
Lets have a look at how the Odeon at Preston fares when we looked into their accessibility on the ground. There are two screens adapted for accessibility a 260 seated screen and a 160 seated screen,
Theres a good disabled toilet that is clearly signed and it has a wide access to it. There are plenty of trained assistants on hand to help you with your requirements. Once in the cinema the aisles are wide enough for any wheelchair. Assistance is again available to get the seats sorted.
For those who are blind or partially sighted.
Certain films are provided with a separate Audio Description dialogue track where the action, scene changes and the actors' body language is described in addition to the dialogue.
In addition, Guide Dogs are welcome at the Preston Odeon cinema.
Where a film is showing in 3D that some can't enjoy the benefit of they will always endeavour to ensure that a 2D version of the film is available at some time during the day.
Deaf and hard of hearing guests
When a film is released with captions for the hard of hearing its listed separately so you can choose these specific performances. There is also Infra Red headsets available to improve your hearing of the film soundtrack. In addition, hearing loops are available – just look for the hearing loop symbol.
ODEON has specially adapted Autism Friendly Screenings of new releases one Sunday each month at 11:30am. These special performances have subtle changes to the cinema environment which mean that people who have sensory difficulties have a more positive experience than they would in a traditional cinema setting.
These changes include:
The lights kept on at a low level
Lower than usual sound levels
No trailers or advertisements - just the film
Allowance for increased levels of movement and noise
Odeon at Preston have embraced all these great initiatives to make their cinema experience truly inclusive for all.