City Council Open Caption Movie Theater Bill Passage

Dear Community Members,

On December 15th, after much advocacy and community involvement, the NYC Council
Members passed the Open Caption Movie Theater bill (INT-2020). Once the Mayor signs
this legislation, this law will become effective in 120 days within New York City. A full
copy of the NYC Council press release can be found here as well as provisions of INT-2020
below.

D.E.A.F. would like to thank its members for their continuous support of this bill and
patronage over the years with attending Open Caption movies. The organization will
continue to advocate for expanded movie showings and provide on-going open caption
information for its members and the community. We look forward to seeing more of you
at upcoming movies in New York City.

The organization was quoted in conjunction with ESAD in the NYC Council press release:
“Open Captions (OC), in contrast, are better suited to movie enjoyment, less prone to
failure and enable us to remain invisible and maintain our dignity, while also benefiting a
wider segment of the public (seniors, the Deaf, those leading ESL, etc.). With COVID
restrictions and concerns still in place, there is much less risk in not having to touch
captioning equipment.”

Central provisions of INT 2020:

  • Applies to any theater offering more than 10 movie showings per week.
  • Open-captioning must be offered for at least one quarter of screenings of films
    which have four or more showings per week, with certain exceptions.
  • Theaters are required to offer up to 4 open-captioned screenings per week for any
    film.
  • Theaters must indicate which showings have open-captioning and advertise all films in the same manner.

INT 2020 mandates that half of the required open-captioned showings each week must
be during “peak” times (6 – 11pm Monday – Friday and 11:30am – 11pm Saturday &
Sunday), with certain exceptions for films not normally shown during peak times. An
additional one-quarter of open-captioned showings must be during “secondary” peak
times: Monday – Thursday evenings. For more information or questions about INT 2020,
please contact deafocmovies.org

The D.E.A.F. Board