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For immediate release
August 1, 2001

Media Access Group at WGBH Hosts Fully Accessible Film Premiere at Loews Universal City Cinemas

People with vision or hearing loss experience first-run film using innovative MoPix® technology
HOLLYWOOD, CA - The Media Access Group at WGBH recently hosted a fully accessible gala premiere of Universal's highly anticipated summer event -- Jurassic Park III-- to celebrate the installation of Motion Picture Access (MoPix®) technology at Loews Cineplex Universal City Cinemas in Universal City, California. Incorporating the action, adventure and impressive special effects that Jurassic Park films are famous for, this premiere at the Loews CityWalk offered the Media Access Group a perfect opportunity to showcase what MoPix® technology -- Rear Window® captioning (discreet closed captioning) and DVS® Theatrical® (audio description) systems -- can provide. This also was the first fully accessible film to be exhibited in the digital cinema format.

"We were honored to host this special screening of Jurassic Park III at the Universal City Cinemas in recognition of the the newest MoPix® installation and the latest fully accessible film," says Larry Goldberg, director of the Media Access Group at WGBH. Travis Reid, president of Loews Cineplex United States, adds: "Loews is proud to bring closed captions and audio description to this very deserving audience. We're happy to be a part of the effort making first-run feature films accessible to everyone. Loews Cineplex Entertainment appreciates that MoPix® allows hard-of-hearing and visually impaired patrons, and their hearing and sighted families and friends, to enjoy movies together alongside the rest of the audience." With this MoPix® installation, Loews Cineplex Universal City Cinema becomes the second Southern California theater to provide the exciting and innovative system to patrons who are blind or deaf -- joining the General Cinema in Sherman Oaks, California.

The premiere attracted a variety of television and film celebrities, industry executives, consumers and their friends and families, members of the Media Access Group at WGBH, representatives from Loews and other supporters -- all of whom understand the importance of MoPix® technology. Among the celebrities who attended the premiere and reception that followed were Anthony Natale from Mr. Holland's Opus and Dionne Quan from Rugrats. The Media Access

Group received great feedback on the systems from attendees, as well as expressions of support for its ongoing efforts to make motion pictures accessible to deaf and blind audiences.

Developed by the Boston-based Media Access Group at WGBH, the highly innovative MoPix® technology is comprised of the DVS Theatrical® and Rear Window® captioning systems -- maximizing the theater-going experience for people with vision or hearing loss. "The MoPix® system enables these audiences to enjoy Hollywood films -- along with the rest of the movie-going audience -- in regular screenings on the day and date of release," says Goldberg.DVS Theatrical® delivers audio description to patrons who are blind or visually impaired via infrared headsets. The system provides narrated descriptions of each scene's key visual elements (e.g., characters' facial expressions or gestures, scene context) during the natural pauses in dialogue. Unlike subtitles or other captioning systems, the Rear Window captioning system allows patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to read captions without distracting or altering the theater experience for others in the auditorium. Portable small screen reflectors, which attach to the armrest of the theater seat, allow them to read captions from a reverse-caption display at the rear of the theater.

Among the first-run films slated to debut with captions and/or descriptions on the day and date of release are: Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Riding in Cars with Boys, The Last Castle, Monsters, Inc., Ali, The Time Machineand The Road to Perdition. Specialty theaters, such as IMAX®, Disney theme park attractions and national park visitor centers, also have installed the access systems. Visit www.mopix.org for more information on MoPix® releases and locations.The Media Access Group at WGBH, with offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, is a non-profit service of Boston public broadcaster WGBH. The service group includes The Caption Center -- the world's first captioning agency -- founded in 1972, as well as Descriptive Video Service®, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to viewers who are blind or visually impaired since 1990. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), is a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields.

For more information about MoPix® technology or WGBH's various other media access initiatives, please contact Mary Watkins at the Media Access Group, 617.300.3700, mary_watkins@wgbh.org

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
mary_watkins@wgbh.org


















Caption Services Description Services NCAM