Monthly Archives: February 2011

Is your theatre or production in danger of an ADA lawsuit?

If you produce or operate a venue that houses Movies, concerts, or performing arts works, like theatre, comedy or spoken word performances, you  may not be aware of the scope of  the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which  requires that you make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Sure, we've all  made entryways wider, installed ramps, and configured seating to allow for patrons in wheelchairs.  But what about those patrons with less obvious disabilities, such  as deafness and blindness?

Growing threat of lawsuits

Recently, a number of Disability Rights Advocates announced that they and their “public interest” attorneys would soon be turning their attention to “the theater industry”.   Their concern?  Closed Captioning for hearing impaired patrons.

Last November,  a disability rights group filed a class action against Cinemark theatres over this issue.    They claim that,  “Over two-thirds (2/3) of Americans attend movies each year. Yet without some form of captioning, countless seniors and those with hearing loss, cannot enjoy at trip to the movies because they are unable to hear or understand the dialogue.”  Their suit contends that by not providing  Closed Captions, Cinemark’s they are engaged in discriminatory practices that violate the Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code sections 51 and 52), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, the Disabled Persons Act (California Civil Code section 54.3), and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Continue Reading

Will Spiderman’s bad reviews matter, or has the superhero already caught audiences in his web?

Earlier this week, the New York Theatre Critics broke with long standing tradition and reviewed a show while it is still in Previews.  The mostly bad reviews of “Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark” came out the day after one of the oft-rescheduled opening dates.  Clearly the critics have had enough, figuring (I think correctly), that when… Continue Reading

Asked and Answered: Can I use a famous movie line in my new screenplay?

Q:  I have watched hundreds of films and read as many screenplays.  The question I have is, are lines from movies protected by copywrite or are they considered in the public domain? The best example I have is whenever a character or story transports a character to somewhere foreign or bizarre the standard line is “We’re not… Continue Reading

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