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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced that it has filed a consent decree regarding alleged disability rights violations by AMC Entertainment Inc. and AMC Multi-Cinema, Inc. (collectively known as AMC).

The consent decree, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and which still needs court approval, resolves matters regarding inaccessible restrooms, entrances and exits to theaters, parking facilities, counters, as well as other barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities in AMC stadium-style movie theaters.

This agreement is another step forward in President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative, a comprehensive program to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of society by increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanding educational and employment opportunities, and promoting increased access into daily community life.

“This agreement will bring more people into theaters, and is a positive step for both AMC and its customers,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “I commend AMC for cooperating with the Department and taking steps to make their facilities more accessible.”

Under the terms of the consent decree, AMC will fix the twelve stadium-style theaters surveyed by the Justice Department. AMC has also agreed to survey and make similar improvements in over eighty additional stadium-style movie theaters across the country. These modifications include providing accessible wheelchair seating locations with the proper number and configuration of companion seats, providing the requisite accessible restroom stalls and other restrooms features, making routes into and within the auditoriums accessible to those who use wheelchairs, adding accessible parking, purchasing a sufficient number of assistive listening devices for people who are hard of hearing, adding proper signage, as well as making corrections to many other aspects of the theaters.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California will further decide on the issue of remedies related to AMC’s failure to provide lines of sight from wheelchair seating in stadium-style movie theaters that are comparable to those offered to the general public. Litigation about remedies for failure to provide comparable lines of sight for wheelchair locations at AMC stadium-style theaters remains stayed pending resolution of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a related case.

The Justice Department began a nationwide investigation of AMC’s stadium-style theaters in November 1996 after receiving complaints from persons with disabilities who were denied access to seats in several theaters.

Individuals interested in finding out more about the ADA or the agreement can call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at <>.