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TOPIC: Wheelchair court order

Wheelchair court order 18 Dec 2003 11:49 #7212

  • jimor
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Remember that California court decision requiring equal seating choices for wheelchair patrons? Well, a Dec. 9th story copied below shows that AMC, at least, has bowed to the decision and maybe we can expect the rest of the chains to do the same. No details were give as to just HOW they were going to comply, but it may be of interst to some of you. Is this the "handwriting on the wall"?

" NEW YORK (Reuters) - Movie theater chain AMC Entertainment Inc. on Tuesday said it would spend $21 million over five years to modify 113 stadium-style theaters after a federal court ruled it violated regulations regarding accommodations for people in wheelchairs.



In January 2003, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled AMC violated regulations involving parking areas, signage, ramps, location of toilets and other factors.

The company said it would remedy 12 theaters surveyed by the Department of Justice, which filed the suit in January 1999. It also plans to make improvements at another 101 theaters."

Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Wheelchair court order 17 Jan 2004 12:30 #7213

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A post script to the above story appeared on the Reuters service the other day. Here it is:

Views Sought in Movie Theater Wheelchair Case
Mon January 12, 2004 11:47 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court asked the federal government on Monday for its views on whether the law protecting the disabled from discrimination required stadium-style movie theaters to give wheelchair users the same views as other patrons.

The high court sought the views of the Justice Department's solicitor general on whether to hear the appeal by Regal Entertainment Group's Regal Cinemas.

A U.S. appeals court ruled the theater chain failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by putting wheelchair patrons in the front rows.

Three disabled, wheelchair-bound women had sued Regal over the seating at stadium-style theaters in Oregon.

Stadium-style theaters, which first opened in 1995, place most seats on stepped risers rather than on sloped floors like in older theaters. In stadium-style theaters, wheelchair seating is located within the first five rows, near the exits.

A federal judge ruled for Regal and said the law entitled wheelchair users only to an unobstructed view of the screen. But the appeals court disagreed.

"Wheelchair-bound movie theater patrons must sit in seats that are objectively uncomfortable, requiring them to crane their necks and twist their bodies in order to see the screen, while non-disabled patrons have a wide range of comfortable viewing locations from which to choose," it said.

The appeals court ruled Regal must provide wheelchair seating locations within the range of viewing angles offered to the general public.

Regal appealed to the Supreme Court. It said there have been conflicting appeals court rulings on the issue. Regal said the ruling in its case means thousands of movie theaters may have to be brought into compliance with the law.

The Justice Department is expected to file its views about the case within the next several months.
© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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