Wednesday, July 21, 2010

People with disabilities live in a vacuum

So again, sorry for the lack of posts- crazy things are happening (all good). On Saturday my mom and I went to see the movie The Kids are Alright. It was at the theater we usually go to but they had just redone the interior and we had never seen a movie in their new setup.

Apparently you now get to pick where you sit when you buy your tickets. When we bought the tickets we were told that I could sit in the wheelchair seating but there was no companion seating available for that show. Those seats had all been bought. My mom replied that that won't work and that she needs to sit next to me. Again, they said I could sit in their wheelchair section by myself. My mom (not getting though to them) threw in the towel and came to where I was sitting to tell me what happened. Coincidentally the manager was standing nearby and overheard her explaining this to me. He asked what the problem was and again, my mom explained. Eventually we were given a folding chair for my mom to sit in so we could watch the movie together. We only had to pay for one ticket because I apparently too disabled to enjoy the movie. Now when we got into the theater there were no other wheelchair users. The companion seats were all filled by random movie goers (not companions to people in wheelchairs). I think the reasonable thing to do is reserve those chairs last so that they are only filled by random people if the whole theater is completely full or if no people with disabilities show up. But hey, we don't have lives and certainly don't go to movies with friends or family.

14 comments:

  1. OK, that's just weird of them. I can see how some people might prefer those seats (good placement w/in the theater, if no wheelchair users are there you've got few seat-neighbors), but you're dead-on about them needing to stay available until just before the movie starts. Glad that they at least ponied up a folding chair for your mom, though!

    What did you think of the movie, BTW?

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  2. That's ridiculous! Even though they had sold the companion seats--which they shouldn't have--they should have asked the other patrons to move. I certainly would have changed seats before I was a wheelchair user--though I'd definitely not have voluntarily taken disability seating unless they were the last seats available. Too many people need them to do that.

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  3. That just doesn't make sense! I worked in the box office of a (live performance) theatre for a while and companion seats were only sold if/when there were no other seats left in the house. A wheelchair user should be able to buy "last minute" tickets as well as any one else. I'm happy to hear they were somewhat accommodating but it shouldn't have been an issue in the first place.

    Also, what'd you think of the movie?

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  4. Companion seats should be the last tickets sold and the theater should change it's policy. I hope despite your mixed encounter you were able to enjoy the movie. That one looks so good.

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  5. It's my understanding that it's the companion ticket that's free, to accommodate people who need to have aides with them.

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    Replies
    1. It's my understanding that it's the companion ticket that's free, to accommodate people who need to have aides with them.

      This has always been my understanding also. In fact, I believe this is something that some people with disabilities have fought for in the past.

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  6. Normal policy should be to apologise to the people who were sold the seats and move them to another free seat of their choice. Not give your mother a fold out chair. And they should absolutely reserve the seating until the very beginning of the show. I throw my hands up in despair!

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  7. I don't think they should reserve the seats, but they absolutely should make clear to anyone buying them when other seats are available that they could be asked to move at any time, including after the show has started, and that if they're moved they are likely to get lousy seats far from their friends.

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  9. Are the seats marked? Dropping a big vinyl wheelchair symbol over the chair may discourage people from taking the seats. Then again, people take the "courtesy seats" on the bus, and forget the courtesy part.

    I've heard the admission thing reversed: The disabled person pays to get in a museum, and her aide (in this case, her husband) gets in free. (Which I'm sure is the case everywhere else you go.)

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  10. I never knew they were companion seats until I started dating my disabled love. But yeah, he almost always gets in free...they get all embarrassed and tell me I only have to buy one ticket...or they just act like nothing's up and charge him for one if he pays. Yesterday I wasn't sure if we would get him free for the matinee so I mentioned he was a student...the chick at the counter got all riled up about how he wasn't getting that it was an "ADA pass" which was something we hadn't heard before. According to him though, he was told once that movies are selling the seat and since he brings his own seat it was free...he thinks it has to do with some theatres not being accessible though. *shrugs* But it's not just you ^_^

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