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In possible first for city, Fargo theater to host captioned screening for deaf viewers

Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in the film, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle." Frank Masi / Sony Pictures

FARGO — A movie theater here will soon show a current Hollywood film with full captions, and Jodi Meisch said she's excited about what it means for deaf people in the area.

The Mapleton, N.D., woman has been in touch for a while with Rick Solarski, general manager of the Marcus West Acres Cinema, to try to make something like this happen. But Meisch said she encouraged him to speed up that effort about a week ago when the local deaf community decided to move its informal monthly gathering to Saturday, Feb. 10.

Solarski got a captioned version of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," the hit adventure comedy starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. West Acres Cinema, 4101 17th Ave. S., will screen the film at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Meisch said the choice of films came down to what was available at the last minute. But she'd like screenings like this become a frequent or even monthly offering in Fargo.

As far as Meisch knows and Solarski has told her, this might be the first time a current Hollywood film will be shown with full captions at a Fargo theater. Other films may have had captions, she said, but they would've been foreign films, not domestic mainstream hits.

Meisch said it's an exciting thing for people like her boyfriend, Chris Peterson, who is deaf.

"My boyfriend has never been to a movie with his mom before, so this is exciting," she said.

That first won't happen Saturday — Peterson's mom can't make it to "Jumanji" — but Meisch said it could happen in the near future if this trial run draws enough interest.