ADA Blog


ADA Blog #20

Most of us enjoy stadium-style seating because our view is not blocked by people sitting in front of us. However, people who use wheelchairs have to sit in the front or back of a venue if they can't transfer to the seat of choice.  No one wants those seats! I'm sure you've arrived at a sold out movie late and watched it from a front row. You sink back in your chair and rest your neck against the back of the chair. You squirm during the entire two hours trying to get comfortable. Imagine if you couldn't move and could only raise your eyes to see the screen?

The DOJ has spoken out and reached an agreement with AMC Entertainment Inc. to settle a lawsuit filed in 1999 under the ADA. The suit claimed that the design of stadium-style movie theaters did not provide persons who use wheelchairs with the same lines of sight as other moviegoers. This agreement will improve the movie-going experience for people who use wheelchairs and their companions at AMC stadium-style theaters nationwide. All AMC stadium-style theaters that are opened after the settlement will be made with accessible seating.  AMC also will move wheelchair seating from the front row to locations further back from the screen, and make sure that movie patrons who use wheelchairs enjoy an unobstructed view of the screen.  AMC is the second largest movie theater chain in the country with about 5,300 screens. 

Shelley Kaplan
Manager, ADA Hotline & Corporate Training 

This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject.  Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.