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Movie Captioning Bill Considered In Frankfort

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public RadioA Pikeville legislator wants movie theatres with five or more screens in Kentucky to provide access to closed-captioning services for the deaf and hard of hearing.Rep. Leslie Combs says only a few theatres in the state currently offer the service, but all of them are in the larger cities.Randy Smith of Regal Cinemas says the industry understands the need, and is seeking solutions in the new world of digital technology.“We met last June with all the technology companies, like Sony, NEC, pushed them into an objective to get some timelines to when they can get this technology going. We’ve have several companies that we’ve worked with to develop presentational modalities, but the reality is, they’re not there yet,” he said.Rep. Combs’ bill, as amended in committee, calls for further study of the issue, with participation by the motion picture industry and all interested parties. The deadline for completion of the study is this November. The bill now moves to the House floor.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.