another victory for the socialist police state!!!!
AMC must upgrade seating for disabled
Associated Press Jan. 13, 2006 12:00 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - AMC Entertainment Inc., the nation's second-largest movie theater chain, was ordered to upgrade seating for patrons in wheelchairs at 1,200 of its stadium-style movie auditoriums and pay $300,000 in penalties and civil damages.
Justice Department officials said late Wednesday that the order settles its 1999 lawsuit against the company claiming AMC violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because it doesn't provide comparable seating for people in wheelchairs.
The Kansas City-based company also must ensure that all theaters built over the next five years comply with requirements set out Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper in Los Angeles.
The stadium-style seating dominating movie theaters gives unobstructed views of the screen. But critics say most wheelchair spaces are at the base of the stadium tiers, forcing those patrons to crane their necks to see the movie.
As part of the order, privately held AMC, which operates more than 3,300 screens, must build ramps in more than 360 theaters, providing wheelchair spaces on higher seating tiers. The company also must pay $200,000 to theatergoers who originally complained to the Justice Department about the seating arrangements and $100,000 in fines.
"Providing the same moviegoing experience for individuals in wheelchairs that other patrons enjoy delivers on the promise of the ADA," Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim said.
A spokeswoman for AMC said the company couldn't comment on the case because it was still in active litigation. The company did not disclose which locations would undergo the modifications.