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January 14, 2003

Blockbusting idea for Clapham

From: South London Press, UK - 14 Jan 2003

By Zara Bishop, South London Press

CINEMAS such as the Clapham Picture House are making movies more accessible for the deaf and blind.

Prior to this, people with hearing difficulties had to wait for blockbuster movies to be released on DVD or video to enjoy the subtitled versions.

But the UK Film Council recently announced the allocation of £500,000 of Lottery cash to increase access to films for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted.

The planned improvements include subtitles, and audio equipment for blind people which describes what's happening on screen.

Deaf film-fan Clare Flory, 28, from Tooting Bec, said: "I would see more films if there were subtitles. "I enjoy going to the cinema but have to wait for the film to come round with subtitles which is a shame. "Cinemas should be more accessible to everyone instead of excluding one part of the market. "Deaf people are being left out because of a small thing -

subtitles. Why should I miss out?"

Miss Flory works as a senior events officer for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.

She said: "There is a lack of flexibility. "If I want to see a particular film I have to plan ahead and may

have to wait two months. "I have to go on the day the cinema shows it with subtitles. "Some films are good on television, but The Lord Of The Rings is something you want to see at the cinema."

The Clapham Picture House in Venn Street is among the London cinemas which screens subtitled films.

Duty manager Zig Bingham

said: "We thought we should be doing something for the deaf community. "We show at least one or two foreign films which have subtitles and we have a subtitled English language film at least once a month. "We want to see how it goes." * To find cinemas showing subtitled films, log on to this address:

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