I found myself in London last week which, for someone who lives in a little seaside town in Cornwall, always feels like a welcome break but also a little bit of a shock. Sometimes I love the hustle and bustle; sometimes I want to sit in a quiet coffee shop and read my book. But a quiet coffee shop was hard to find and so instead, I went to the cinema for a break from all the busyness.
I’ve wanted to watch Passengers ever since I saw the trailer. I love Jennifer Lawrence, I don’t mind a space film* and Michael Sheen as a robot is too much for me to resist. So off I headed, to the epicentre of cinemas in London. Leicester Square.
Luckily, I was going to the cinema at 1.30 on a Wednesday** otherwise the ticket would’ve cost me over £20. Madness. I asked if there were any subtitled showings or closed caption personal devices, but I was met with blank looks. Excellent start. But it’s worth reminding ourselves that in 2017, in the capital city of the worlds fifth largest economy, I still wouldn’t be able to pop to the cinema with my Mum without consulting two websites and crossing my fingers.
Today, in Central London, there is one screening with subtitles. It’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and it’s showing at 4pm in the Odeon on Leicester Square. That’ll be good if you haven’t found time in your diary to catch a film that was released in mid-November. This week (Monday 9th January – Sunday 15th January) there were 12 subtitled screenings planned, 9 of them were showings that were before 5pm so bad luck if you work 9-5.
I spoke with customer services at Cineworld, the chain I watched Passengers with. They confirmed that there are no subtitled screenings at all this week in Leicester Square. I’ve sent them an email asking why that’s the case and what they intend to do to ensure that they are making a “reasonable adjustment” as per the Equality Act. I’ll obviously let you know the reply.
Passengers was good, but if you’re someone who needs the subtitles you’ve missed all three of the showings in Central London this week. They were all at nonsense times anyway.
*just don’t talk to me about Gravity. Why can’t Sandra Bullock’s character catch hold of anything?! Her life literally depends on it!
**I know, I know. I’m always banging on about how noone goes to the cinema on a midweek afternoon and so cinemas should be screening subtitled films in the evening, but I was on annual leave!