What does it mean to be “without a macula”? The macula is the central part of the retina. I am sure your friend’s retina still has a center. Is he lacking the cone cells that are normally found there? If that were so, his vision would be severely compromised (As is that of people who suffer from macular degeneration; but that usually happens, if it does, late in life.) It is possible to be born without functioning cone cells, and (I am fairly sure) without functioning L and M cone cells, most of which are normally to be found in the macula, but again, this would lead to seriously compromised vision. Your friend would not be able to see “quite well” and it is very unlikely that he would be able to read subtitles. In any case, it wold be odd to describe these conditions as being “without a macula”.
Could it be that he lacks the yellow pigment that normally covers and more or less defines the macula, but still has a reasonably normal distribution of receptor cells in the central regions of the retina? (This condition, if it exists, might be an aspect of the macular hypoplasia mentioned by cromulent, since that is apparently associated with albinism.)