Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tom Hardy Looked Me In The Eye

Again, another small post.

That means something to me.

I love going to the movies. It's something that both Joe and I enjoy and we try to fit in a movie every week. We've done this for well over forty years now and we're not slowing down. My becoming a wheelchair user didn't even enter into the equation with this one. Most theatres are now accessible. We do have to deal with people who sit in the 'companion' seat on a fairly regular basis. Most are fine with moving, some are really difficult about it - but this doesn't even cause us worry. It's just part of the deal.

Well, we went to see a movie over at Legacy Place and they've got this amazing theatre there. It's beautiful and set up to make movie going classy. I like it. What popped our eyes though, was going into choose a seat. They had one whole row where there were two seats then space for two wheelchair users, two seats, then two spaces for wheelchair users, two seats then two spaces for wheelchair users then two seats. All the seats had the blue wheelchair guy right on the headrest above the words, companion seating. That means I had three different options for seating. I got to watch a movie, for the first time since I became a wheelchair user, looking at the screen dead on. I have become used to seeing the movie at an angle from one side or another.

But dead on!

It changes the movie experience.

On leaving we both spoke more about where we sat than what we saw. We had been given options! They had ensured that other patrons knew what seating was what. Now don't you worry there were still a couple of hundred seats for the non-disabled, setting this row up in this way didn't take anything from those who walked. But what it did do is say, 'Hey, welcome,' to everyone.

Including me.

I saw a movie straight on.

A good day.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah Hooray to a wonderful experience!

Julia

Hugh Campkin said...

As a fellow movie-goer, and one who goes with a friend who is a wheelchair-user, I TOTALLY get this... in our most-frequented cinema, he has a choice of two positions.. both dead on, ironically. It seems here in England - at leats in the Cineworld cinemas we mostly go to - that it is assumed a wheelchair- user will want to sit smack bang in the middle.. perhaps what he'd want to see occasionally is a view from the side!

Anyway, it's all about options. Great that your experience provided that!

What's your experience of more art-house, indie cinema, Dave? are they accessible? we go to a couple of good ones, in Chichester and Brighton - the former has floor space pretty much anywhere you want (it's basically a sports hall), the latter has two spaces in a HUGE old theatre (I guess they're bound by the old-style seating and aisle-logistics to an extent), both way, WAY up in the back (the floor is sloping..)

It is inded all about options, for all of us... I wonder why the cinema you visited had a new policy/arrangement? new manager, or a memo from head office?! either way, God bless 'em!

have a great day, fellow movie-lover

hugh

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hugh our experience of art house / indie theatres isn't very good. Most of them are clumbsily accessible. They are usually in theatres with stairs and getting in isn't easy, then once inside, the theatres are tough to manage. One we went to I had to sit at the back on a sharply sloping floor so it felt like I was going to slide out of the chair. I tend now to avoid them, which is too bad because they often have movies I'd want to see. Where we are lucky is that we have two cinemas near us that play both mainstream and small release films - they are both highly accessible. Nice to meet a fellow movie buff.

John R. said...

It is funny...I am reading the post today and thinking this should just BE the standard design of all theaters.....I am sure it does not cost that much more...maybe it even saves money??.... and it is such a great message of equality....hmmm...maybe I will become an movie theater architect...hmmm

Defying Gravity said...

That's great. We went to the cinema the other day and realised when we got in that we'd accidentally booked the companion seats but they hadn't been marked in anyway on the seating plan so we just thought we were choosing seats at the end of a short row. I could easily imagine that turning into a difficult situation ("but we *booked* these seats, they're ours"), especially if the cinema was relatively full.

Anonymous said...

http://www.r-word.org/Default.aspx

Just FYI xxoo

joanne said...

Now that is neat!!
Let's hope other places catch on, including live theatres/performances....where it's often even difficult just to "get in"...

(lots of "e"'s in this "e" mail :)

have a great day!

joanne said...

Thank you Anonymous for sharing the link on the R word day...I am embarassed to say that I was not aware of it...but have now shared with everyone I know and will do a better job next year...thanks againg :)

Anonymous said...

I am the Anonymous/lurker who posted about the link for the r-word day on Daves blog. I meant it as only an FYI to Dave because I know from reading this blog how he feels about this topic - HOWEVER, I AM SORRY TO GRANSTAND or soapbox on HIS blog, please forgive me Dave, sincere apologies.

Anonymous said...

Anon I am more than please that you informed us (and me) I didn't know ... Dave on blackberry

Defying Gravity said...

Ah, being from the UK I read that date (03/07/12) as 3rd July, not 7th March...

Kristin said...

It sounds like a wonderful theater.

lisa said...

We have a theater in VA called the Alamo, it's great, you get to eat dinner, even have drinks while you watch your movie! AND they have a row or seats are just like you described. How cool is that? I know this is a chain, but I think the franchises are individually owned. I love it for many reasons :)
Lisa