Open Captioned Movies

Please visit the events page for the schedule of upcoming open captioned movies.

Instructions for setting up an Open Captioned movie through Regal Cinemas:

  • To make a request, contact Regal by sending an email to
  • Movies must be requested at least ten days in advance.  There must also be a minimum of ten people in attendance.
  • In the request, include the name of the movie, the time of day the movie will be shown, and the location of the Regal theater.
  • An email will usually be sent back to confirm the request was received.
  • The schedule for movies is completed weekly on Wednesdays.  Usually on the Wednesday before the requested date, Regal will email to confirm the show time.

ADA Requiring Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Captioning, Audio Description*

The Department of Justice published a Final Rule of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III to enforce a nationally consistent standard. This rulemaking provides specific requirements that cinemas must now meet to satisfy their equal access obligations to patrons with hearing and vision disabilities.
For screenings of features produced with closed captioning, movie theaters will now be required to provide caption display devices to patrons who request them. The law will also require these theaters to provide assistive listening devices for any film produced with an audio description track, which contains a personal narration throughout the film.

Specifically, the rule requires movie theaters to:
  • Have and maintain the equipment necessary to provide closed movie captioning and audio description at a movie patron’s seat whenever showing a digital movie produced, distributed, or otherwise made available with these features.
  • Provide notice to the public about the availability of these features.
  • Ensure that theater staff is available to assist patrons with the equipment before, during, and after the showing of a movie with these features.

Theater Responsibilities:
  • The rule defines a movie theater as a “facility, other than a drive-in theater, that is owned, leased by, leased to, or operated by a public accommodation and that contains one or more auditoriums that are used primarily for the purpose of showing movies to the public for a fee.” This rule will not apply to cinemas that only screen analog movies (film prints) in all of its auditoriums. Drive-in theaters are also excluded in the definition of movie a theater because the technology to provide closed captioning and audio description in such venues does not yet exist.
  • Movie theaters must obtain and install the necessary equipment that enables movie patrons to view the closed captions and hear the audio description at their individual seats. The necessary equipment consists of the following two components:
    1. The hardware equipment that transmits the closed movie captions or the audio description to movie patrons at their individual seats.
    2. The individual devices that receive the closed movie captions or the audio description. The closed movie captioning and audio description devices must be made available to people with hearing and vision disabilities so that these individuals may view the closed movie captions or hear the audio description at their individual seats.
  • The number of captioning devices required at a movie theater is based on the number of auditoriums that show digital movies.  The minimum number of fully operational captioning devices should be in accordance with the following table:

Assistive Technology Device Requirements for Movie Theaters

# of Auditoriums

Minimum # of Captioning Devices

Minimum # of Audio Description Devices













  • Not all films are produced with closed captions and/or audio description tracks. In that instance, a theater will not be prohibited from showing a digital movie that was distributed without these accessibility features. The theaters will also not be required to add captioning or audio description to these films.
  • Since cost estimates show expenses up to $27,000 for a 16+ theater multiplex, certain theaters will not be obligated to complete the requirements “where compliance would result in an undue burden.”

*The above only applies to closed captioning. Laws have not been expanded to include open captioning; except in Hawaii.