Many Omaha metro movie theaters now have technology for the hearing impaired, thanks to an Omaha grandmother.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Many Omaha metro movie theaters now have technology for the hearing impaired, thanks to an Omaha grandmother.
For the first time in his 14 years, Danny Glazer is seeing the movie he wants.
"We'll take two tickets for Footloose," Danny proudly tells the attendant.
Danny was born deaf.
"With closed captioned," he adds.
Most cinemas don't show the majority of movies with words at the bottom of the screen.
"When a friend asked you if you wanted to see a certain movie, you would have to say, 'I have to check at the theater,'" Danny told KETV Newswatch 7's Natalie Glucklich. "If it wasn't at that theater, you'd have to say, 'I can't go,' or 'this is the only movie,' and if it wasn't a movie you liked, you couldn't go."
"Everybody would be watching the movie, I would be signing and he would be looking at me," described Danny's grandmother, Phyllis Glazer. "It was depressing."
Phyllis decided depressing wasn't for her.
"There's an upside and a downside to everything," Phyllis told Glucklich. "I prefer the upside."
In 2007, Phyllis began what would become a long chain of emails to the corporate office of Rave Motion Pictures. After persistence, $7,500 from her family endowment and Phyllis' personal savings, Rave at Westroads agreed to buy a system called MoPix. MoPix is a small caption display with words reflected from the projector booth.
"Everybody's sitting there watching A Christmas Carol, smiling," described Phyllis. "I'm sitting there crying! It was such a relief!"
Marcus Cinemas went digital in August along with many other cinemas across the country. That made it easier for companies to provide captioning for the hearing impaired through a new device called CaptiView. CaptiView sits in a drink holder and is now offered at almost every Marcus Cinema in Omaha.
It's not perfect; Danny still has to look back and forth from the screen to the words on the device. Still, Danny says it's pretty cool.
"Then, I thought I would finally be able to go to movies with my friends and have fun and get the real movie experience with the popcorn and the theaters," said Danny.
That is music to his grandmother's ears.
"I think when you realize you have a handicap, you can't change but you can certainly reach out and make it better for so many other people," said Phyllis. "It's a reward."
Similar technology is also in the works to help the blind, featuring an audio device describing what's going on in the movie.