Whole Person applauds showing of first open captioned drive-in movie in KC

For the Deaf and hard of hearing, a movie next week will be a Kansas City first. The Boulevard Drive-in is teaming up with the Whole Person to offer the first drive-in movie with open captions on the screen. Photo used under a Creative Commons license courtesy camshatter.

For many of the 10 percent of Kansas City folks who are Deaf or hard of hearing, the July 11 showing of Monsters University at the Boulevard drive-in will be an important first.

That’s the day of the first showing of an open captioned drive-in movie in Kansas City.

You might be familiar with closed captioning, which can be turned on or off on a television or movie to show the words that are being spoken.

Open captioning, on the other hand, includes the words imprinted into the movie itself. It includes the captioning as well as descriptions of music and sound so the viewer can understand more about what’s going on without hearing it.

According to the Whole Person (TWP), a Midtown nonprofit for people with disabilities, this will be the first opportunity to fully enjoy a drive-in movie in Kansas City for many people. The Whole Person says the showing aligns with TWP’s goal to promote accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities.

The theater will be donating a portion of proceeds from the event to The Whole Person and CinemaKC.

“Boulevard Drive-In, owned by the Wes Neal family, has supported organizing a film with open captions since TWP approached them with the idea in April. John Shipp, who works with the drive-in as a consultant, immediately began coordinating the logistics of showing a film on Boulevard Drive-In’s 4K digital screen with open captions,” the Whole Peron said in a press release.

“In my many years of working with drive-in theaters throughout the country, I have no knowledge of a film being shown at a Kansas City drive-in with captions on the screen,” says Shipp, CEO of Cinema Consultants, Inc., and Chairman/Founder of CinemaKC, a nonprofit that supports local filmmakers. “We are very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with another nonprofit and make history with this event.”

“More important than making history, this movie is an opportunity for people with hearing disabilities to experience a movie under the stars,” says David Robinson, CEO of The Whole Person. “We applaud the Boulevard Drive-In and the Wes Neal family for their support of inclusion and their generosity in organizing this event.”


  • Captioned showing of Monsters University Thursday, July 11 – 8:00 p.m. (movie begins at sundown)
  • Boulevard Drive-In, 1051 Merriam Ln., Kansas City, KS
  • Tickets are $10 per person, Kids 11 and under are FREE
  • NOTE: the theater accepts cash only, not debit or credit cards
  • More information