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Court: Movie theaters must accommodate deaf-blind patrons

Written by Michael Rubinkam/Associated Press | Oct 6, 2017 4:56 PM
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(Photo: Michael Dakota, Lebanon Daily News)



(Undated) -- An appeals court says federal disability law requires movie theaters to provide interpreters to patrons who are deaf and blind.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cinemark, the nation's third-largest movie chain.

The case involved a Pennsylvania man who wanted to see the movie "Gone Girl" and sought a "tactile interpreter" from a Cinemark theater in Pittsburgh. The theater denied his request.

The plaintiff, Paul McGann, reads American Sign Language through touch.

The appeals court concluded Friday that tactile interpreters are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. It says Cinemark can still argue that providing the interpreters would be an "undue burden."

The interpreters cost a few hundred dollars per showing. Plano, Texas-based Cinemark earned $257 million in 2016.

Cinemark officials didn't immediately return an email seeking comment on the ruling.

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