Every once in awhile, we all get to witness something spellbinding, something that makes us stop in our tracks. That happened earlier this month for the Drexel staff when we acquired our new Sony Entertainment Access Glasses. That’s a long name for a relatively small device that has revolutionized the movie experience for our hearing-impaired guests.

The “glasses,” as they’ve come to be known around here, are really two pieces of technology. The receiver takes a signal from each auditorium’s projector, using a file on our new digital equipment, and converts it to a line of text that feeds to the glasses via a small cord. The glasses (which can fit over the guest’s glasses if needed) project this text at the bottom of the lenses, providing captions of the dialogue and other sounds.

The previous technology required guests to look at a small, separate screen usually held in the cup holder, requiring guests to look away from the theater screen to read the captions. Now the caption appears wherever the guest focuses. Most choose the bright green letters on the black masking at the bottom of the screen. The Drexel is only the second theater in Columbus to offer this new technology.

We are grateful to Meredith and Jay Crane for their donation in honor of Jay’s father, Jim. This donation has allowed us to better serve our community by providing this service free of charge to our hearing-impaired guests. The glasses are truly something remarkable!

We will be adding information on our website so that our guests will know with which movies the glasses will function. We are also working with CaptionFish.com, a site that provides showtimes and technology descriptions to the hearing-impaired community, to list our films. As I hope you can tell, we are very excited about this addition to the Drexel!

FUN FACT: Most of us know that The Jazz Singer was the first full-length “talkie” when it debuted in 1927. Interestingly, it was also the first film shown with sound and subtitles when it opened in Paris in 1929 (with subtitles in French).

– Kevin Rouch, Drexel Theatre Director