Cinema investigation - Evidence
In 2010 people in the UK visited the cinema nearly 170 million times and spent almost £990 watching movies on the big screen.
After a number of negative incidents affecting Trailblazers in the South East, the network decided that the cinema industry needed further investigation.
Trailblazers in the region went out into their local communities and visited and rated their local major chain and independent cinemas. They completed surveys, interviewed cinema managers and architects, wrote blogs, set up a petition, wrote their own report, and made their own documentary that showed the big picture of access in UK cinemas today.
Mike Moorwood and Judith and Laura Merry investigated cinemas in the region. Mike said
It was really encouraging to find that the cinemas in my area are generally pretty good for disabled customers. However, there are a few areas where a little more care would make a big difference. Often the wheelchair-space at cinemas is right in front, which can make it difficult and uncomfortable to view the screen. One cinema I went to had thought about this and offered alternative seating locations - which is great. However, I needed the seat next to one of the higher wheelchair spaces, so that my carer can sit with me and this was booked. It's a shame to see such a good feature set back by a problem like this, and this a good example of where consultation with disabled customers about their needs would have helped.
If I could see one thing come out of this campaign it would be to persuade exhibitors all over the UK to ensure that there are seating options that allow disabled people to sit with family and friends. Going to see a film really loses something if you are not able to enjoy it with the people you are with. I hope people will back our petition and encourage exhibitors to start thinking about what a trip to the cinema really entails for disabled people.
Mike describes his experience of poor seating options at cinemas for wheelchair users and what cinemas could do to improve their facilities for disabled customers.
Trailblazers national ambassadors Judith and Laura Merry describe their experiences of planning a trip to the cinema.
More Lights, Camera, Access interviews with Trailblazers can be watched on our YouTube page
Sign our petition calling on cinema operators to improve their service for disabled people.
Read the about our findings in other regions.