As a blind person, I’ve been attending audio-described theatre performances in London for a while now, but until I watched Belfast at the Barbican last week I’d never been to a blind-people friendly cinema show.
I’m glad to say my visit was a great success. I got a good understanding of what was happening in the movie thanks to the headset and I thought the Belfast and its Van Morrison soundtrack were absolutely excellent.
Not all cinemas have showings for blind or visually impaired people, but the Barbican usually offers one or two audio-described films a week. On the cinema’s website, films with audio descriptions will have ‘AD’ in brackets after the title.
As with the accessible theatre performances, you can get reduced price tickets for yourself and a companion if you register yourself as an ‘access’ member. It’s easy to get to as well. Barbican tube station is nearby and there’s free parking available for Disabled car users.
If you’re heading to one of their audio-described showings, the only slight snag is that you need to get to the reception area at least five minutes early to give the staff time to fetch and test out your headset.
All in all, I’d really recommend the Barbican’s audio described cinema shows.