Deaf patrons complain movie theater won’t turn on captions

This image released by Disney shows Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic "Beauty and the Beast." Disney’s film Beauty and the Beast has been pulled from cinemas in Kuwait after the country’s censors raised concerns over the film’s content. Duaij Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah, a board member at the National Cinema Company that operates 11 of Kuwait’s 13 movie theaters, told The Associated Press on Monday, March 20, 2017 a newly edited version of the movie may be back in theaters later this week. (Disney via AP)

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Some deaf and hearing-impaired moviegoers say a Rhode Island theater refused to switch on the captioning so they could follow along with Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Providence Journal reports 18 hearing-impaired people tried to see the film at the Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall on Saturday.

Organizer Tim Riker says the group arrived unannounced and requested theater employees activate the captioning. But a manager refused, suggesting it wouldn’t be fair to other patrons who had not paid to see a subtitled movie.

The group left without seeing the film.

Riker says the group wants state lawmakers to approve pending legislation requiring certain theaters to accommodate hearing- and sight-impaired customers.

The Warwick theater is owned by Massachusetts-based National Amusements, which hasn’t commented.

The popular “Beauty and the Beast” has earned $432 million domestically in a month.

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