Equipment makes movie-viewing 'grand' for hearing, visually impaired.

Photo by Tammy Pearson/Adair County Free Press Wendy Sheeder holds the new equpment that patrons at the Grand Theatre can use to see closed captioning for all movies shown.

The big screen, the booming soundtrack, the smell of popcorn — the movie-viewing experience at a theater just can’t be replicated.

Thanks to an investment in new technology at the Grand Theatre, viewers with visual or hearing impairments can now more fully enjoy the experience.

Wendy Sheeder, owner of  the Grand Theatre in Greenfield, unveiled new equipment now available. Those with hearing impairments can view closed captions on a device they hold as they watch the movie. The visually impaired can hear descriptions of the action through a pair of headsets.

Two pieces of each equipment are available. Patrons wanting to use one may want to call ahead to reserve a unit, said Sheeder.

The equipment works in conjunction with, and is made possible by, the digital projection system to which the theater converted three years ago.

“Of course, all this equipment does come at a price,” said Sheeder. “As with all of our local businesses, The Grand appreciates all who do business locally. Your patronage helps make the world go ‘round in our small community,” she said.

Investment in the new digital projector was “huge,” said Sheeder. It meant “committing more years to running the theater.

“It was like starting back at the beginning,” she said, referring to the 2004 purchase of the business.

“I urge people to spend more time in town. There’s lots of stuff up here,” said Sheeder.

The Grand shows newly-released movies. While most are family-oriented, since those are the movies that draw customers, The Grand also shows some “R” movies that are “big box office draws” local patrons want to see.

Digital Projection System

Gone are the days of splicing film reels together and hauling massive reels from theater to theater. Today’s digitized films, which come on a drive that can be held in one’s hand, are easily shipped.

And soon, even those will be a thing of the past. Sheeder said she predicts that in the next couple of years movies will be delivered to theaters via satellite. With the digital projection system, the transition would be an easy one.

The computerized system is connected to the Internet to allow for remote access for maintenance and software upgrades. Show times are computerized, and a quick look at a monitor tells the operator what has been programmed.

The new projector also allows for playing DVDs for special showings. For example, the theater has played some DVDs with closed captioning for the 50’s Club and will play The Sidey Collection IPTV special during Flag Day weekend events.

In order to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, a variety of venues will be adding similar equipment, said Sheeder. Anyone interested in purchasing their own device to take with them to various places that are equipped to transmit to them can get more information from Sheeder.


Courtesy of Tammy Pearson, the Adair County Free Press, 4/1515. 

Adair County new technology Adair County Free Press Greenfield Grand Theatre

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