Worthing Dome Cinema to bring back disability-friendly screenings

The Dome Cinema in Worthing is due to bring back subtitled and disability-friendly screenings next week after stopping them for the summer.

This comes after a mother of a deaf boy expressed her frustration with the cinema putting them on hold throughout the summer holidays.

Justine Goddard, 42, from Lancing, wanted to take her son, Austin, 12, who is deaf, to watch a film at the Dome Cinema in Marine Parade but since the cinema has put disability-friendly screeings on hold, Justine struggled to find a film suitable for her son.

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She said: “We wanted to watch jungle cruise, and kept waiting on the Dome’s website to see when the subtitled version was showing.

Austin Goddard from Lancing could not go to the Dome Cinema due to them stopping subtitled screenings for the summer

“I phoned up the cinema and was told that there was not any showings.

“I spoke to the manager, who was very nice, about requesting a subtitled showing of the film, but he told me that someone had made the decision to take away subtitle screening for the summer holidays.”

Austin, the boy behind the clear face mask campaign, felt let down by the news. Justine said: “Austin got so excited about going to the cinema but then I had to tell him we could no longer go.

“It’s exhausting having to fight for everything, it is so tiring.

Austin Goddard from Lancing could not go to the Dome Cinema due to them stopping subtitled screenings for the summer

“People take advantage and just don’t realise how hard it is having to fight for basic things.

“No-one would want to sit in the cinema in silence and not know what is going on or being said.”

A spokesperson from The Dome Cinema said: “Inclusivity and the accessibility of cinema to all is something that is very important to us at The Dome. This is why we were among the first cinemas locally to offer Parent & Baby screenings, Autism Friendly screenings, and subtitled screenings.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to take a careful look at everything we are doing to ensure that the business remains financially stable and that we can continue to offer these screenings on a long-term basis, and due to low attendance, some of these screenings were unfortunately postponed temporarily.

Justine Goddard and her son, Austin, from Lancing could not go to the Dome Cinema due to them stopping subtitled screenings for the summer

“When we reopened in May this year, we continued to offer subtitled screenings on a weekly basis, but we were finding that as our general attendance was increasing, our subtitled screening attendances were actually decreasing to the point that it was costing us a significant amount of money to put them on and were frequently having subtitled screenings that we sold no tickets for at all and we rarely covered the cost of running them.

“It was always our intention to bring all of our extra-accessible screenings back towards the end of the summer holidays or at the start of September, and we’re happy to confirm that our subtitled screenings are resuming next week on Tuesday 24 August, with The Paw Patrol Movie at 3.30pm and Snake Eyes at 5.35pm.

“Our subtitled screenings will then be continuing every Tuesday afterwards.

“We are also happy to confirm that our Parent & Baby Screenings will be returning from Wednesday 8th September with Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings and our Autism Friendly screenings will return from Saturday 4th September with the film to be confirmed.

“Full details of all screenings, including listings and how to book tickets, can be found on our website at www.domecinema.co.uk or a member of our team will always be happy to answer any questions or book tickets over the phone on 01903 823112.”