Megaplex Theatres
Rear Window Closed Captioning technology allows the deaf to read the dialogue.

SOUTH JORDAN — Special effects and pulsing soundtracks have made today's movie theater experience more entertaining than ever.

Now, the deaf and blind can enjoy them, too, thanks to new technology being put into some Utah movie theaters.

"I wasn't sure about this system at first," said Andy Rhodes, general manager of the Megaplex 20 in South Jordan. "But once I found out about it, it's really a neat system. We're getting a lot of good feedback on it."

A blind person can now wear headphones to know what's happening on the screen, sort of like a book-on-tape.

For the deaf, a plastic device that fits in a cup holder can be placed at eye level. The device is one part of something called Rear Window Captioning. On the back wall, an LED screen reflects the words being said on the screen to the device, so the person can read it.

"I think it's great because we want everyone to be able to watch a movie," said Rhodes.

The Megaplex theaters in South Jordan and Ogden are two theaters that currently have the new technology.

Other Utah movie theaters say they're looking into it.

But not all films accommodate the new technology. Theaters rely on movie production companies to supply them with a special disc that runs in tandem with the video disc.

"The film studios have to release it to us," said Rhodes. "Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It depends on the movie."

e-mail: acabrero@desnews.com