Accessibility Technology ~ TheatreVision™


Helen Harris, James Cameron, President H.W. Bush Disney Studios Lot hosting TheatreVision Olympics

 Currently marking its 25th anniversary year, "TheatreVision™" is a program that makes feature film presentations accessible to the visually challenged. The concept of narration and description in motion pictures was created by Mrs. Harris in 1987. "TheatreVision™" incorporates a special soundtrack for feature films that runs concurrently with the dialogue of the motion picture. This second soundtrack provides a "description narration" of what is being shown on the screen, so that audience members who are blind—or those with limited sight--can still experience the medium of motion pictures  

Park I Part II

With the help and cooperation of many in the Hollywood community, the prototype for "TheatreVision™" was developed by Mrs. Harris, who then worked in conjunction with many of the entertainment industry’s leading filmmakers --several of whom have created "TheatreVision" versions of their existing films. These specially formatted films have been made available, through RPI, to libraries, charitable organizations, special screenings, and schools for the blind.

 To date, over 500 Hollywood feature films have been produced in "TheatreVision™," with many having been narrated by noted celebrities. These have included "Forrest Gump," "Titanic" (narrated by James Cameron and Angie Dickinson), "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menance" (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson), "Mission Impossible," "Apollo 13" (narrated by William Shatner), and "It’s A Wonderful Light" (narrated by President George H. W. Bush). More recent entries have included "Twlight," "Valkkyrie," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Inglourious Basterds," "Seven Pounds," and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

 With the help and cooperation of many in the Hollywood community, the prototype for TheatreVision™© was created. The critically acclaimed smash, Paramount Pictures' Forrest Gump, was the first film to be completed in this format, making its TheatreVision™© debut before a visually challenged audience December 28. 1994, at the Cineplex Odeon/Fairfax Theater In L.A., and with a gala screening for the entertainment community February 21, 1995 at Paramount Studios.

This new film technique is anticipated to briny between 10 and 31 million visually impaired moviegoers into theaters. Many of Hollywood s top filmmakers have already created TheatreVision™© versions of their existing films. These specially formatted films are being made available to the unsighted through select neighborhood theaters, as well as through libraries, charitable organizations, special screenings and schools for the blind.

TheatreVision™© complements RPI's existing program, AudioVision™ which provides audio-oriented, "visually challenged" versions of media ranging from cards to books.


  "Los Angeles Times Millennium Edition writes, Theatrevision one of the most 100 important inventions of the century!"

Los Angeles TimeMillenium Edition
"100 most important inventions of the century...." 
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