John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with Riverview Theater, LLC doing business as Riverview Cinemas 8 (“Riverview”) in Southbury, to resolve allegations that the movie theater facility was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities alleging that Riverview’s movie theater facility was not fully accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. Riverview is in the process of making the changes required by the settlement agreement. The changes include providing additional accessible parking spaces, ensuring that there are accessible tables in the lobby seating area, installing accessible signage, ensuring that the theater has sufficient hearing aid compatible assistive listening receivers, lowering countertops for its vendor café, and ensuring that its restrooms are fully accessible. Riverview will continue to make improvements over the next six months.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including movie theaters, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
“This office is committed to enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act so that individuals with disabilities are able to access and enjoy Connecticut’s movie theaters and other places of public accommodation,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “I commend the owners of Riverview Cinemas for their cooperation throughout our investigation and their clear commitment to complying with the requirements of the ADA.”
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.