Press Releases Gallery format

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Click to Download in PDF format

Media Contact:      Mary Ellen Saunders (818) 992-0631




RP International and TheatreVision™ premiere

T2 “Terminator” described in TheatreVision by Nia Vardalos, Michael Biehn and John Beard

 and will be presented to 180 blind children  for the 25th annual TheatreVision™ film screening at Harmony Gold Preview House in Hollywood Californai.


LOS ANGELES -- (May 3, 2014) – Helen Harris’ RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa International) ( ---

RP International’s TheatreVision™ description of “T2” Judgment Day (Lions Gate), described by Nia Vardalos, Michael Biehn and John Beard will be presented to 180 blind children for the 25th annual TheatreVision™ film.

The audio described film, “T2” Judgment Day, one of the first films described by assistive technology created by Helen Harris will be shown to 180 blind attendees who will be coming to Los Angeles.  The attendees, who are all blind and vision-impaired, look forward to another great day at the movies where they can actually “see” a film described just for the blind.  The TheatreVision™  film afternoon is a very special and important part of the youngsters’ lives and is being sponsored by RP International, Harmony Gold Preview House, Subway, Ralphs Grocery, Smart & Final, LA Dodgers, Angels of Anaheim, and other local agencies.

When the Blind Olympics came to me several years ago and told me that their Saturday evening event had been cancelled, I scrambled for an answer.  In a few hours, I found a theater on the Paramount lot with my first film, Forrest Gump, described by Vin Scully and was able to begin a wonderful relationship experience for young athletes, all blind, coming in from around the country to Los Angeles to participate in a new experience of going to the movies through the eyes of TheatreVision™ describer, Vin Scully.

TheatreVision™ was created by Helen Harris in 1987 when the blind activist decided that motion pictures in movie theaters should be accessible to individuals who were blind and vision-impaired. Turning to studio head Sherry Lansing, Harris developed a long lasting friendship and the motion picture, Forrest Gump, handed to Harris by Lansing, began a journey of films described for the blind that will one day become an everyday way of life in all movie theaters. “Good luck, Helen,” Lansing said, as she handed over Forrest Gump and Harris took the challenge. She brought the motion picture home and within a week had described frame by frame, with a sighted producer/friend, the action on the screen between the audio lines. “It was extremely difficult to do.  We were able to describe all the activity beginning with the feather floating through the air in the bright blue sky through sunlit fluffy clouds high over the streets of Atlanta, landing on the shoulder of Forrest Gump.”  That was the beginning of the first ever film done in TheatreVision™ for the blind and vision-impaired. There are now over 200 films in Harris’ description library. She looks forward to having this happen in all movie theaters one day for all the blind in the United States and abroad.

Once again, legendary LA Dodgers First Baseman Wes Parker will participate in the event.  A six-time Gold Glove winner (1964-1972), Wes Parker may go down in Dodger history as one of the best fielding first basemen ever.  During his tenure with the team, he helped lead the Dodgers to both the 1965 and 1966 World Series. 

The blind participants will be given a goody-bag which will include a special TheatreVision™ t-shirt as well as an Angels baseball cap.

Date:      May 3, 2014

Time:      5:00 pm

Place:     Harmony Gold Preview House

             7655 Sunset Blvd.

             Los Angeles, CA 90046

About RP International (RPI)

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a degenerative, hereditary eye disease that afflicts nearly 3.5 million people worldwide.  When diagnosed with the condition 40 years ago, Helen Harris was a homemaker in Pennsylvania.  Once she found out that she had passed on RP to two out of her three sons, she started a mission to save vision by founding RP International (RPI).  Since then, Harris’ non-profit organization has led the fight against disabling eye diseases that afflict over 31 million people in America and worldwide.  RPI has raised over $5 million to date during the past 40 years of telethons and special events, including its annual Vision Awards fundraiser for medical research for restoring vision.  RPI is also behind the first successful retinal transplant that has fully restored vision in blind patients.  RPI has also enlisted other donors into contributing more than $300 million directly to medical research for eye health.  Whether Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, Usher's Syndrome, Batten's Disease, or other visual impairments, RPI has helped pierce the darkness through the following initiatives: sponsoring medical research and communication amongst leading researchers; providing human services for blind and sight-impaired children, young adults, and seniors; educating the public, the medical profession, and those suffering from disabling eye diseases; pioneering TheatreVision™, an innovative technical development invented at RPI that permits the blind and sight-impaired to watch movies and television with their sighted family and friends; the annual “Eyes of Christmas” special broadcast, raising awareness and bringing holiday cheer to the blind; as well as the annually televised Vision Awards (, which honors major luminaries across the fields of entertainment, science, sports and the arts.  Harris has partnered with many of the biggest stars and movie studios to produce TheatreVision™ versions of major feature films, including James Cameron, who lent his voice for the audio description of his blockbuster hit, "Titanic." 

Contributions to support RPI’s initiatives to save vision can be made via mail to: RP International, PO BOX 900, Woodland Hills, CA 91367, or online at

For information please contact Helen Harris at 818-992-0631, or email


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. Helen Harris in 1990. TheatreVision™ incorporates a special soundtrack for feature films that runs concurrently with the dialogue of the motion picture. This second soundtrack provides a descriptive 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. With the help and cooperation of 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 own 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 150 Hollywood feature films have been produced in TheatreVision™, with many having been narrated by noted celebrities. These have included “Forrest Gump,” “Titanic” (described by James Cameron), “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menance” (described by Samuel L. Jackson), “Mission Impossible,” "Gangs of New York" (described by Martin Scorcese). “Apollo 13” (described by William Shatner), and “It’s A Wonderful Life” (described by President George H. W. Bush). Recent entries include “Twilight,” “Valkkyrie,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Seven Pounds” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”