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DVS® Guide

Winter/Spring 2002
Volume 12, Issue 4

Letter from the Director

Happy New Year! I hope all of you have enjoyed the busy holiday season and are looking forward to a terrific 2002. As always, DVS® has done a lot to be proud of during the past year--from being part of the first two fully accessible DVDs to describing numerous new Hollywood films and network programs to assisting theaters across the country with new MoPix® installations. The list goes on and on, thanks to the support and participation of viewers like you, our friends in the movie and TV industry, the DVS staff and many others!

As the new year begins, we have information to pass along to you...Beginning this year, we will publish the DVS Guide two times a year--in January and July. Because you count on the DVS Guide for important news, events and information about DVS, the content of the newsletter will not change. However, as some news items and release dates will not be available to fit our publishing schedule, we will provide regular and frequent updates online at and on the DVS Information Line at 1-800-333-1203.

In addition to the twice-a-year print version of the DVS Guide, we are considering producing and distributing an e-mail only DVS Guide Update, which would be distributed via e-mail in April and October. Please let us know if you are interested in receiving this DVS Guide Update, by dropping a note to We'll make the decision based upon the number of interested responses we receive.

On behalf of DVS, and the bi-coastal staff of the Media Access Group at WGBH, I wish you all a happy and healthy year to come. And remember, for the latest DVS news and information, visit us often online!

Lori Kay
Director Media Access Group/Services

DVS Highlights
DVS brings the "The Force" home to millions with vision loss. This past November marked a major television milestone: Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace made its network television debut on the Fox Broadcasting Network--making it the first commercial network broadcast of descriptive narration for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. Viewers in the nation's top 25 markets were able to access the video description as the Fox affiliates in these markets are equipped to provide DVS on their SAP channels. The movie also aired with closed captions for viewers with hearing loss.

The Media Access Group at WGBH created the descriptions and captions for the film's original theatrical release in May 1999 and was pleased when FOX decided to air it in its accessible format. According to Mary Watkins of the Media Access Group, "When this film first came out, some fans had to drive for hours to a theater equipped with the MoPix® access system in order to experience 'The Force.' But thanks to this presentation on Fox, those with vision loss who missed the theatrical release were able to enjoy the movie with full description right in their own living rooms...And this is just the beginning: we look forward to working with Fox to make additional programs available with description in the near future."

A list of Fox stations across the country that are equipped to pass descriptions via the SAP channel.

Films with Description Lead Box Office Bonanza Each year, Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the biggest weekends for both family movie-going and new theatrical film releases. And 2001 was no exception. The only difference this past Thanksgiving weekend was that the top three films nationwide--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (earning $57.5m), Monsters, Inc. (earning $24m) and Spy Game (earning $21.7m)--were available with description and captions at theaters equipped with the MoPix® system. The Media Access Group at WGBH looks forward to making the most popular movies available to viewers with vision loss--and to increasing the awareness about and availability of theatrical releases with description--for years to come! For complete lists of theaters with MoPix® and theatrical releases (current and upcoming) with description, visit

Major Networks Introduce Described Programming
In keeping with the Federal Communications Commission's mandate for the provision of described programming on TV stations in the top 25 major markets, some
commercial and cable networks are rolling out shows with description in early 2002. Expected to take effect between April and June 2002, the new rule requires
participating broadcasters to provide a minimum of 50 hours of described prime-time and/or children's programming per calendar quarter, which is approximately 4 hours per week. Among the newly described programs to look for in early 2002 are:

* Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon
* The Division, Lifetime

For the full Report & Order (FCC #00-258) regarding described programming,
visit the FCC Web site at

PBS Broadcasts Ken Burns's Mark Twain with Description
In January, PBS presents the latest in Ken Burns's "American Lives" series -- Mark Twain -- which features description for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. In this new two-part documentary, Ken Burns creates an illuminating and touching portrait of Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, one of the greatest writers in American history. In his time, Twain was considered the funniest man on earth, as well as an unflinching critic of human nature, using his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. Keith David narrates the film, which includes interviews with Arthur Miller, William Styron, Hal Holbrook and others, and more than 600 still photographs gathered from more than 100 different archives. Mark Twain will air on Monday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 15 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings).

Disney Favorite Premieres in Large Format Theaters
Another premiere to look for this month (January 1, 2002) is Disney's animated favorite -- Beauty & the Beast -- coming to selected IMAX/large format theaters with description for viewers with vision loss. This magical kids' classic from 1991 was the first animated film to be nominated for a "Best Picture" Oscar and went on to win Oscars for both "Best Song" and "Best Musical Score." To find out about the availability of this exciting large-screen presentation in your area, call your local IMAX or large format theater.

Catch Saturday Night Features on TCM
So what are you doing Saturday night? Why not grab a friend and make some popcorn while you enjoy the DVS Showcase on Turner Movie Classics?! Each and every Saturday night at 6pm EST, the Turner Classic Movie network makes the world of film accessible through description during the DVS Showcase. And once a movie has been described on TCM, the description will accompany every subsequent broadcast of that movie. For a complete listing of the more than 125 described films available on TCM, call the DVS Information Line at 800-333-1203 or visit us on the Web at

How to Access DVS
In order to receive DVS on television, viewers must have either a television with stereo, a VCR with the Second Audio Program (S.A.P.) -- both of which are standard -- or a stand-alone S.A.P. receiver. To access the narrated visual descriptions on a television program or home video, simply activate the S.A.P. feature, which can be located by consulting the equipment manual or by calling the equipment manufacturer. A stand-alone S.A.P. receiver, which functions somewhat like a radio, can be tuned
in to a channel that broadcasts the description soundtrack. The S.A.P. device may be used in addition to a television or for audio only and is available either pre-tuned or adjustable. S.A.P. receivers may be purchased from FM Atlas 218-879-7676.

This guide is also available in Braille, on audio via the DVS Information Line, 1-800-333-1203. To receive this guide electronically, contact us directly by calling our DIRECT LINE at (617) 300-3600.

Become an Advocate for MoPix®!
If you're a viewer with vision loss, or a parent or teacher of someone who is, then you know how valuable DVS is to the blind and visually impaired community and may want to show your support for this important service. The most effective way to advocate for more MoPix® theater installations--comprised of DVS

Theatrical for viewers with vision loss and Rear Window Captioning systems for viewers with hearing loss - in your local area is to contact theater chain headquarters directly; local theater management may be unaware of the systems and less likely to pass on requests and feedback to the theaters' corporate management. Similarly, if you would like to see an increase in the number of theatrical film releases with description, write directly to the major studios.

Hearing from potential movie patrons is the key to the growth of MoPix® and DVS -- indicating to theaters and studios that moviegoers with vision loss represent a large, and potentially lucrative, viewing market. For background information about MoPix® and a link to contact information for the nation's largest theater chains and studios, visit

Fans of DVS Give Us Their Feedback...
The comments on the following page -- about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in theaters, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom MenaceTM on
TV and Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas on DVD--came from
viewers who are blind or visually impaired, as well as their parents, teachers and friends. With support and gratitude, joy and enthusiasm, these expressive comments remind us how important the work of the Media Access Group at WGBH is to so many people. Thank you for your feedback!

"During the last week, I've had the unusual, and really great, experience of seeing THREE audio described movies. First, [we] saw Harry Potter with audio
description. Then, on TV, [we] saw Star Wars Episode One. Finally, we just watched the Grinch DVD with audio description... Movies have become an important part of our society. As years go by, the movie industry seems to be placing more and more emphasis on special effects, making the movie-going experience a visual extravaganza...With this visual emphasis, it is crucial that movie studios continue and vastly augment the use of audio description in theaters, as well as in the home market! DVD technology provides an amazing vehicle for distributing audio description. It was great to purchase a DVS movie, watch it at home and then come in and discuss it with friends at work.

"[Until recently,] I had never had a chance to see a described movie. I'm seriously visually impaired and sometimes movies are very hard for me to see. A case in point was Star Wars Episode One, which I simply did not enjoy in the theater because there is so much happening on-screen all the time. But what a revelation to see the described version on TV! It really increased my ability to sit back and enjoy the movie. I hope we can see more of this."

"I just wanted to thank you for your work in making the new Grinch movie
descriptive. I have a visually impaired daughter and two sons, and we were excited when Lindsay's teacher e-mailed us to tell us [about DVS]. We all got to enjoy a movie together as a family. We do watch other movies, but [usually] spend the whole time telling Lindsay what is going on..."

PBS Schedule

The following is the DVS broadcast schedule for January through June on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Some public television stations may have different schedules, so be sure to check your local listings. PBS programs scheduled to air with DVS are subject to change, for updates of the PBS broadcast schedule with DVS call toll-free on your touch-tone phone, the DVS Information line, 1-800-333-1203. The broadcast schedule is also available on the Internet. E-mail us with your comments at:

Adventures from the Book of Virtues
every Sunday, (30 minutes)

American Experience
1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, 6/16, (60 minutes)
The episodes on 1/6, 1/13, 1/27, 2/17, 3/24 and 5/12 are 90 minutes.
The episodes on 4/28, 5/5, and 5/19 are 120 minutes.

every weekday and Sunday, (30 minutes)

Between The Lions
every weekday and Sunday, (30 minutes)

Commanding Heights: The Battle For The World Economy
4/3, 4/10, 4/17, (120 minutes)

Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre
1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/18, (120 minutes)

Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection
1/7, 3/25, (120 minutes)

Living Edens: Temple Of The Tigers
5/5, (60 minutes)

Mark Twain
(A Film by Ken Burns)
1/14, 1/15 , (120 minutes)

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

weekday's the weeks of 1/1, 1/28, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/25, 4/8, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27, 6/3, 6/17, 6/24, (30 minutes)

1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, (60 minutes)

1/8, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/26, 3/26, 4/2,
(60 minutes)

Scientific American Frontiers
3/19, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, (60 minutes)

every weekday and Sunday, (30 minutes)

every weekday and Sunday, (30 minutes)

Turner Classic Movies

Through a partnership with DVS and the U.S. Department of Education, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable channel presents the following classic movies with description. These films are broadcast with description whenever they appear on the TCM channel. Please check your local listings. To obtain the TCM cable channel, contact your local cable provider. Simply activate the S.A.P. feature on your stereo television or VCR to access the descriptions. Don't miss the DVS Showcase every Saturday night at 6:00p.m EST. Please keep this list of described TCM programs as the list will not be published in every Guide, but look for newly described TCM programs in the DVS Highlights section in future Guides. You can also get a complete listing of movies described on the TCM cable channel by calling our DVS Information Line,1-800-333-1203 or on the internet at:

2001: A Space Odyssey
A Christmas Story
A Day At The Races
A Family Affair
A Night At The Opera
A Patch Of Blue
Above Suspicion*
Adam's Rib
The Adventures Of Huck Finn
The Adventures Of Mark Twain
The Adventures Of Robin Hood
All This And Heaven, Too*
An American In Paris
Anne Of Green Gables
Arsenic And Old Lace
The Asphalt Jungle*
Babes In Arms*
The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer
The Bad And The Beautiful
The Big Sleep
Blackboard Jungle
Boys' Town
Bringing Up Baby
Captains Courageous*
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Cat People
Challenge To Lassie
The Cincinnati Kid*
Citizen Kane
Clarence The Crossed-Eyed Lion
Clash By Night
The Corn Is Green
The Courage Of Lassie
The Courtship Of Eddie's Father
Dark Victory
Dinner At Eight
Dirty Dozen
Doctor Zhivago
Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde
Easter Parade
Father Of The Bride
The Flying Leathernecks
Fort Apache
Fountain Head*
Gallant Bess*
Gone With The Wind
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Grand Hotel
Gunga Din
High Society
How The West Was Won
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
I Remember Mama*
I Walked With A Zombie
Jailhouse Rock
Kelly's Heroes
Key Largo
King Kong
Kings Row
Lassie Come Home
Life Begins For Andy Hardy
Little Caesar
Little Women (1933)
Little Women (1949)
Lost Angel
Lust For Life
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Maltese Falcon
The Man Who Came To Dinner
Meet Me In St. Louis
Mildred Pierce
The Miracle Worker
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Mr. Skeffington
Mrs. Miniver
Murder, She Said
Mutiny On The Bounty
National Velvet
North By Northwest
Now, Voyager
On The Town
Out Of The Past
Pat And Mike
The Philadelphia Story
Please Don't Eat The Daisies
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Pride And Predjudice
The Prisoner Of Zenda
Public Enemy
Red Badge Of Courage
Royal Wedding
Santa Fe Trail
The Secret Garden
Sergeant York
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers*
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
The Shop Around The Corner
Singin' in the Rain
Son Of Lassie
Stage Door
The Sunshine Boys
Tarzan, The Ape Man
Teahouse of the August Moon
The Courtship Of Eddie's Father
They Were Expendable
The Thin Man
The Thing
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
The Three Musketeers
The Time Machine
To Have and Have Not
Tom Thumb
Top Hat
Treasure Island
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Village Of The Damned
Viva Las Vegas
Where The Boys Are
White Heat
Wings Of Eagles*
The Wizard of Oz
Woman of the Year
The Women*
The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm
Yankee Doodle Dandy
The Yearling

Large Format Theater Schedule
The following is the large format theater movie schedule with video descriptions for January through June. For specific dates and times the films will be showing with description, please call the theater nearest you. If your local large format theater is not listed in the schedule, let them know that you would like to see movies with DVS at their theater.

Laurence Phipps Theater
Denver Museum of Natural History
Denver, CO
(303) 370-6322
Shackleton's Antarctic Journey, Kilimanjaro: To The Roof
Of Africa,
Journey Into Amazing Caves

Johnson IMAX® Theater
Smithsonian, Institution/Natural History Museum
Washington, DC
(202) 633-7400
Journey Into Amazing Caves, Africa: The Serengeti

Langley Theater
Smithsonian, Institution/National Air
and Space Museum
Washington, DC
(202) 357-1675
To Fly!,
Cosmic Voyage,
Adventures in Wild California

IMAX Dome Theater
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Tampa, FL
(800) 995-6674
Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Space Station,
Shackleton's Antarctic Journey

Entergy IMAX® Theater
Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans, LA
(504) 581-4629
Journey Into Amazing Caves, Galapagos,
Into The Deep

Mugar OMNI Theater
Museum of Science
Boston, MA
(617) 723-2500
Kilimanjaro: To The Roof
Of Africa,
Shackleton's Antarctic Journey, Journey Into Amazing Caves, Everest

William L. McKnight - 3M Omnitheater
Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
(651) 221-9411
Island of the Sharks,
Search for the Great Sharks,
Shackleton's Antarctic Journey

Tennessee Aquarium IMAX® Theater
Chattanooga, TN
(800) 262-0695
Into the Deep,
Shackleton's Antarctic Journey

Wortham IMAX® Theater, Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston, TX
(713) 639-4705
No programming with DVS
is scheduled at this time.
Please call this theatre for updates and information.

DVS Theatrical
The following is a listing of conventional movie theaters with video description.
For specific titles that are described and for specific dates and times the films will be showing, please call the theater nearest you. If your local theater is not listed here, let them know that you would like to see movies with DVS at their theater.

General Cinema Sherman Oaks/Sherman Oaks
Cinema 2
(near Los Angeles)
4500 Van Nuys Boulevard
Sherman Oaks
(818) 986-9660 or (818) 986-3078

Loews Cineplex -
Universal City Cinemas
Theater 5
Universal CityWalk
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City
(818) 508-0711

General Cinema Parkway Pointe
Cinema 7
3101 Cobb Parkway, S.E.
(770) 937-0730

General Cinema Yorktown/Lombard,
Cinema 7
(near Chicago)
80 Yorktown Center
(630) 495-0012

General Cinema City North
2600 North Western Avenue
(773) 394-1600

Gulf States Palace 20 Theatre
1200 Elmwood Park Blvd.

General Cinema Owings Mills
Cinema 8
(near Baltimore)
10100 Mill Run Circle
Owings Mills

General Cinema Framingham 16
Cinema 13
22 Flutie Pass
Framingham, MA
(508) 875-6151

General Cinema Fenway
201 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA
(617) 424-6111

New Jersey
General Cinema Clifton Commons/Clifton
Cinema 1
(near New York City)
405 Route 3 East
(973) 614-0966

New York
General Cinema Bay Plaza Cinemas
Bay Plaza Shopping Center
2210 Barton Avenue
Bronx, NY
(718) 320-1659

General Cinema Plymouth Meeting
Cinema 9 (near Philadelphia)
500 Germantown Pike
(outside of Plymouth Meeting Mall)
Plymouth Meeting
(610) 397-0780

General Cinema Springfield Mall
(near Washington DC)
6500 Springfield Mall
Springfield, VA
(703) 971-4203

Cinerama Theater
(a General Cinema operated facility)
2100 Fourth Avenue
(206) 441-3080

General Cinema Pacific Place
Cinema 3
600 Pine Street
(206) 652-8908

General Cinema Mayfair Mall
(near Milwaukee)
2500 North Mayfair Road
(414) 777-0467

Ontario, Canada
Famous Players Theatres:

SilverCity Younge & Eglinton*
2300 Younge Street
Toronto, Ontario

Coliseum Scarborough*
Scarborough Town Centre
300 Borough Drive
Scarborough, Ontario

SilverCity London*
1680 Richmond Street
London, Ontario

Coliseum Mississauga*
309 Rathburn Road West
Mississauga, Ontario

SilverCity Richmond Hill*
8725 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario

* New MoPix® Location

DVS Funders
We extend our sincere thanks to the many corporations, foundations, organizations and viewers who have supported DVS during the past year.

Inaugural Circle
General Motors
George B. Storer Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts
U.S. Department of Education

Additional Supporters
American Council of the Blind of Ohio
American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
Eberhard & Pat Ax
J. Walton Bissell Foundation
John Demetralis
Des Moines Chapter, Iowa Council of the United Blind
The Gerber Foundation
Arlene Gordon
The George Gund Foundation
Debra & Paul Hill
Gilbert H. Hood Family Fund
William F. Paul
The Pearle Vision Foundation
Reader's Digest Fund for the Blind
George & Eleanor Shearing
Irving M. Shepard, III
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Jo Taliaferro
Washington Council Of The Blind
E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind

Major funding for Descriptive Video Service® is provided by
the U.S. Department of Education. Cooperative agreements:
H026C70005, H327C980003, H327J000004, H327J00005

Caption Services Description Services NCAM