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ODEON cinema Guildford - subtitles cancelled. Breach of Equality Act

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Me and my partner booked tickets online to see Fantastic Beasts and where to Find them. On the Odeon Guildford website it stated that the 8pm viewing was subtitled. (We are both deaf and need subtitles to follow a film)


We turned up on the night of the screening, 18th November 2016.

I always check before we go into the screening that it is actually subtitled as in the past we go, only to be told there are no subtitles.



I ask the staff, is the film at 8pm subtitled?

He goes on to say no.

I ask why?

He avoids the question a number of times.

I ask him again, and ask 'why not add the subtitles?'

Its really is not difficult to do- (popular films delivered to cinemas USUALLY contain a subtitle track.



Cinemas can switch this subtitle track on or off, like a DVD player or Sky box,

BUT cinemas prefer to SCHEDULE subtitled shows in advance, so everyone knows a particular show is subtitled.)



I ask him again, and the guy says 'people don't like subtitles.'

I was upset and angry by this point, and I said I'd like to speak to the manager.



He then says he IS the manager.

I was even more shocked as this came out of the words of the manager.

He could have been a bit more tactful. :-x:mad2:


It clearly breaches the Equality Act.

The subtitles weren't cancelled due to technical failure

but because they decided to discriminate against a minority,

whilst pleasing the larger minority (the hearing people) after specifically advertising the film as being accessible for that minority.


It was an evening trip wasted, we planned in advance only to be hugely disappointed.

We were refunded, and given two free cinema tickets and an apology, but that is not good enough.



It was an injury and insult to our feelings, to be turned away just because we are deaf.



Hearing people have the privilege of turning up to watch films when they like.

Deaf people have restrictions

- we can only see films that are shown subtitled.



We've suffered as a consequence on the basis of characteristic (disability) which is protected under the equality act 2010.


I have tweeted this, emailed the cinema, and am awaiting a response.

I hope they don't get off lightly, I will make sure of that.


I have proof of booking confirmation when I booked my tickets, which also shows the proof of it being captioned. But no proof unfortunately of the manager saying 'people don't like the subtitles.' I do though, have a witness.


I am new to this forum, and so hi to everyone :) I am not sure what else to do, feel at a bit of a loose end and would appreciate some help and guidance on what to do next. Many thanks. :-)

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Please don't post multiple threads on the same issue. It is unhelpful to us and it is unhelpful to you.


You've told us that it is the Odeon but you haven't told us where. Which Twitter address have you used to tweet this?

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Hello Emily, welcome to CAG.


I'm sure people will be along later to answer you. Things are always quieter at the weekend, so please bear with us until they're able to get here. :)


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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The Odeon Twitter address is @ODEONHelp


I would suggest that you tweet them and try to get others to treat them as well.


Our Twitter URL to the thread is cag.tw/1v08

you should try tweeting them your own message as well. You could try contacting your local newspaper. This is the kind of stuff that they are often pleased to carry. Other than that, I'm not quite sure if there is any worthwhile fuss you can make – unless, of course, the Odeon doesn't respond or simply fails to respond satisfactorily. Let us know what happens

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Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your visit on Friday. I am both angered and embarrassed that your night was ruined in the way your describe, and I can only hope you will allow me the opportunity to explain and do whatever I can to begin restoring your faith in our commitment to accessibility


I will make no excuses; what happened on Friday night was unacceptable. We had scheduled 3 subtitled showings of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them in it's opening week - Friday 18th November at 00:01 & 11:10 and on Sunday 20th November at 6:10. The 8pm showing that you booked for was not scheduled as a subtitled showing, but the showing was inadvertently programmed in & advertised online as a subtitled performance. The programming error was noted during mid-week checks, but the team made the wrong call to amend. We had programmed that performance as subtitled and it should have stayed that way at such a late stage. What is even more disappointing is that none of the guests in that screening were contacted in advance notifying them of the error.


I can completely understand how angry and frustrated you must have been on the night. I can assure you that absolutely no offence was intended, but from your feedback it does not sound like the manager expressed himself as well as could have. A subtitled version of any film is a separate file, so unfortunately it is not a case of switching subtitles on or off. This however is simply not the point.


We have always prided ourselves on our commitment to accessibility which is why I am so incredibly disappointed with the way we as a team have handled this. I know we have already refunded your tickets and given you some complimentary passes, but your are right, it isn't good enough. I have already set up some new procedures to help ensure errors like this never happen again, and scheduled a meeting with my leadership team to specifically focus on accessibility in our cinema. We actively listen and act on any and all feedback, and we will continue to do all we can to do better.


Please accept my sincerest apologies for the disappointment, anger and frustration caused. I really want to do all I can to make this right and build your feedback into the way we work and engage with accessibility. I will be writing the schedule on Monday for our new film week starting on Friday 25th November. Tell me when you would like to watch Fantastic Beasts and I will make that happen. In the long term, I do have a few guests that email me fairly regularly with subtitled requests so please feel free to drop me an email if there is something specific you would like to watch in the future. As long as we still have the film and the distributor has released a subtitled version, we can help.


Thank you again Emily for your time and patience, and I hope to hear from you soon.





This is the cinemas response. It seems a fair enough apology and they seem to be doing something about it. But, at the end of the day it was a clear breach of equality act. This has happened far too many times and has deeply affected the deaf community. Problems arise, apologies are made, then everything it settled. Then a problem arises again. It seems a vicious cycle. Can't we consider suing them for the damage they have caused? I know its only attending a cinema to watch a film, but it upset us.

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