Headington-based film buff, Oscar Davies, 23, who has been hearing impaired since he was a toddler, specially travelled to the Oxford-branch of Vue Cinema on Christmas Eve only to find out the film was not subtitled as originally advertised.
The screening carried on while Mr Davies alerted staff who did not offer an explanation, resolution or an apology.
When Vue’s manager was only able to offer two complimentary tickets, Mr Davies left ‘disappointed and insulted’.
“When the pain has died down I might consider going back to Vue but that won’t be any time soon.” Mr Davies’ sister Lucia, 28, is now campaigning to improve services at cinemas.
She complained to Vue on his behalf but said their response was ‘poor and insensitive’.
Lucia added: “My brother doesn’t like to complain, he just puts a brave face on and continues.
“It is extremely difficult for someone who is deaf to join in on activities that primarily involve ones hearing and the fact that he was then left extremely upset and hard done by following this experience is unacceptable.”
However, Mr Davies is not the only hearing impaired person across the UK failed by providers.
His sister confirmed a similar incident happened with a mother and her child when staff at Bicester Vue Cinema also failed to turn-on subtitles at a deaf-accessible showing.
Even further, National Deaf Children’s Society research released in 2019 reveals that over 75 per cent of UK chains failed to put on a single subtitled screening of the most popular kids’ films in their opening weeks last summer.
After its release on December 19 last year Star Wars, also categorised as a children’s movie, had a single deaf-accessible screening before the end of 2019 according the Mr Davies.
The fan finally watched the anticipated release when he went to a New Year’s Eve screening at the Curzon at 11am.
Subtitled films screened at unsociable timings are also a major disadvantage to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
While Mr Davies said he did not mind on this occasion, he admitted the limited listings are also very restrictive.
A Vue Cinema spokesperson confirmed the chain screens two subtitled films per week, however, the Oxford branch only listed one – on Sunday at 11.50am – from January 10 until January 16.
Addressing Mr Davies’ complaint the spokesperson added: “Regrettably, on this occasion, the subtitle track was not available as expected and we would like to apologise again to the customer for the disappointment caused.”