Hollywood…..fame, fortune, bright lights, red carpets, beautiful people, grandiosity, power and influence. The film industry has the ability to sway thought, fashion and culture. Whether it be social issues, politics or how we look; Hollywood shapes our attitudes and behavior and they want us to go to the movies!
Thirty-five million Americans are living with some degree of hearing loss. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 and required movie theaters to make accommodations for those with hearing loss. These accommodations have most often included:
Many American hearing aid users have expressed dissatisfaction with the current options. Watching words while trying to enjoy the “big screen” is a lousy experience. Hearing aid incompatible headphones passed out by employees of the theaters are often not in good working order, charged, or hygienic. Movie dialogue and soundtracks are often reported as both too loud and not clear.
There must be a better way to help the 6-8 million users of hearing aids, many of whom have stopped going to the movies since their experience is so frustrating. If there is a way to get them buying movie tickets and popcorn again, then someone will figure it out!
THE DIRECTOR and EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
Mr. Bill Diles, M.A. – A private practice audiologist in Sonoma County, CA for 32 years who has been fondly referred to as the “Grandfather of home looping.”
Mr. Harvey Sparks – A licensed electrical contractor for 20 years; an amateur Pro Audio engineer for 30 years; a hearing aid dispenser for 10 years. Mr. Sparks is currently employed at Unitron Hearing Systems in their Business Development Department.
Mr. Ray Anderson – A general contractor for 45 years. Ray is self-employed and has worn hearing aids for 10 years.
Mr. Will Diles – The managing director of a hearing care practice, a licensed hearing aid dispenser and the fifth generation in his family to be involved in hearing care.
Summerfield Cinemas – A five-screen, family-owned Movie Theater in Sonoma County that caters to audiences of all ages with a particular emphasis on art, independent, and foreign films.
In response to the myriad of complaints that audiologists and theater owners get regarding inaudibility of movie dialogue, Bill and his team have installed hearing loops in all five theaters of the Summerfield Cinemas. With the support of the very motivated owner and his staff, this accomplishment will not only serve the hearing aid using public of Sonoma County, but can also be leveraged to increase business for both Bill and the theater. Will there be copycat projects in other theaters? Maybe this successful endeavor will result in theater owners vying for the connection to a hearing care practice?
STAY TUNED……as we discover and share ALL OF THE WAYS this arrangement could benefit hearing aid users, the local audiologist, the local theater owner, the hearing aid industry and Hollywood! Excuse the grandiosity but, after all, we are talking about Hollywood.