The time between New Year’s and Memorial Day can be long. Instead of counting down the months until your next vacation, try taking your mind off it with a trip to the movies! There are no shortage of movie theaters in Los Angeles, from ArcLight Cinemas to New Beverly Cinema downtown.
Now for most folks, going to the movies is a simple afternoon activity. But those with hearing loss may see it differently. The surround sound, noisy patrons and background noise all mix together to form a seemingly impossible task.
Assistive Listening Devices
The good news is that any modern theater must have an assistive listening system in place for just this occasion. Most theaters will have what is called a hearing loop.
A hearing loop is able to transmit sound as electromagnetic energy. This system is made up of three parts: a sound source, an amplifier and a thin loop of wire that surrounds the whole room. As long as you are within the wire loop and have a t-coil enabled device (which you most likely do), the sound picked up by the amplifier is passed directly to your hearing aid.
Your Legal Rights
Now before you head out the door, it is a good idea to call to confirm the theater is equipped and with what system.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all places of public accommodation with fixed seating that either accommodates at least 50 people or has an audio amplification system (or both) must provide an assistive listening system. This means your theater must have a system in place. It is your responsibility to confirm which type of system to make sure your device is compatible.
Is there something besides a hearing loop?
While most theaters have a hearing loop, there are other assistive listening systems, such as FM and infrared. If you do not have the equipment required to connect their system with your hearing aid, the movie theater may have some available. This is another reason to call before you go, as they can get everything ready for you in a timely manner. You don’t want to miss the opening scene while an employee is looking through boxes in the back.
Your hearing impairment does not need to slow you down. Contact your Los Angeles audiologist to learn how to get the most from your hearing aid.