A Beijing Theater Is Committed to Screening Movies for the Blind

Reckoning Theater has organized over 1,000 screenings since its opening in 2004.

For the past 18 years, Reckoning Theater in Beijing has been narrating movies to its audience — describing the scenes and settings, and contextualizing the moving images on the screen.

That’s because its patrons are visually impaired, and the one-of-its-kind theater has become a go-to venue for those longing to experience the magic of movies despite their disability. Xiao Huanyi is one of the theater’s loyal moviegoers.

“I wasn’t interested in movies at first,” the 64-year-old, who was born with congenital blindness, told Sixth Tone in a phone interview. “I used to listen to stories via radio broadcasts, which narrate the plots. Reckoning Theater is different — it describes the scene, which is precious.”

Spaces like the Reckoning Theater in the capital’s Xicheng District are rare when it comes to serving the entertainment needs of those with visual impairments. As of 2021, there were more than 17 million visually impaired people in China, and as the country marks the International Day of Disabilities, which is observed annually on Dec. 3, there are growing calls to improve their physical and psychological well-being. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.