The deaf and visually impaired will have an opportunity to experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Saturday at Ward Theatres, marking the first movie showing to provide such accommodations as required under a new Hawaii law.
Kauai Rep. James Tokioka introduced the bill last session, which Gov. David Ige signed in June. The measure takes effect Jan. 1. The law sunsets in two years, but the Legislature could choose to make it permanent.
State Rep. James Tokioka smiles on the last day of the 2014 legislative session, May 1.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat
The legislation requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning, a House news release says.
It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description.
“The law removes communication barriers and provides equal access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have poor vision through reasonable accommodations at movie theaters,” the release says. “It will also help seniors who have trouble hearing, as well as individuals who are learning English as a second language by providing the written dialogue on screen.”
Star Wars will show at 12:15 p.m. A reception with the Aloha State Association of the Deaf will follow at Dave and Busters.
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