But right now I'm all excited to tell you about going to see The Hobbit. No, I'm not going to tell you about the plot, or what's true to the book or added... you can figure that out for yourself. (We thought it was great!)
No, what I'm all geeked out about is the new Regal Cinema in town and their closed caption glasses! You can read about them here and here, if you're interested in more detail.
When we arrived at the theater, we checked out two pairs of these. Tate already wears glasses, so we were glad these were designed big enough to fit right over the top of his. Our theater also provided a strap, to hang the little control unit around your neck.
They had to program it to receive the right channel for our specific theater and show-time, which took a couple of minutes, but we'd come early, so no problem. If you want to try them out, I'd recommend allowing a few extra minutes to get set up. Once in the theater, none of the previews had any captions, but then, I can't remember if they did when we went to the old-style captioned movies. Anyway, it didn't bother Tate. (Especially since most of the previews were DISGUSTING, but I digress...)
I don't know why the guy in the photo's glasses look dark - they were completely clear, and new, so clean and unscratched. I forgot they were there. When the movie started, the captions appeared in neon green, right before our eyes! It's hard to tell from the picture, but we could 'aim' the captions higher or lower by tilting the lenses. The control box allowed us to do a little bit of focusing of the subtitles, and to make them brighter or dimmer. Amazing!
Actually, no matter which direction I turned my head, I saw captions, which was kind of funny. I thought about going out to the bathroom with the glasses on, to see if I could keep tracking the movie... but I didn't.
About three quarters of the way through the movie mine stopped working. Uh-oh. It's a looooong movie, maybe the battery? Right away I checked with Tate, and his were working fine. Turns out the cord between my glasses and the control box had wiggled loose and come unplugged. I was able to replace it, no problem. We checked out two pairs, one for Tate and one for the rest of us to try, just to see what it was like. I'm guessing the plug came loose because we were handing them back and forth and it got jostled, but no worries.
Overall, to be honest, the subtitles that are projected onto the movie screen are easier to read. And for a kid like Tate, with glasses, a hearing aid, and a cochlear implant, it was a LOT of gear on his head, for three hours. But, balance that with the fact that we can go to any showing. We aren't restricted to some odd-hour, weekday showing just to catch the captioning, and...