Feds: York Twp. movie theater complying with disability requirements after federal complaint

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch
Queensgate Movies 13, owned by the regional movie company RC Theatres, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, is upgrading with ADA-compliant equipment, including descriptive audio, closed captioning and assisted listening. Bill Kalina photo

A York County movie theater has taken steps to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards after a moviegoer with visual impairment couldn't access required accessibility equipment. 

R/C Theatres, which operates Queensgate Movies 13 in York Township, previously did not have descriptive audio headsets available for people with visual impairments. Under ADA rules, theaters showing digital movies must provide closed captioning and audio description devices for deaf and blind individuals.

On Thursday, the U.S Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that R/C Theatres had addressed the ADA complaint. The theater has since purchased descriptive audio equipment and will continue to train employees on how to use it.

"Owners of movie theaters must ensure that viewings of films comply with all requirements of the ADA, and that they provide equal access for all people,” acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler said. “R/C Theatres quickly and cooperatively worked to address the ADA violations discovered during our investigation, which will enable visually impaired patrons to enjoy movies at the Queensgate location.”

More:York Township movie theater didn't have headset for visually impaired customer

The issue came to light in February 2020 after Stewartstown resident Preston Gaylor, who has a visual impairment, said the theater did not have a headset available for him when he went to watch a movie. 

"It kind of made me feel like I wasn't welcome," Gaylor previously told The York Dispatch. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office then started an investigation with the theater chain's cooperation, which confirmed the violations, according to a news release.

The theater chain's website features more details on accessibility equipment available in theaters at rctheatres.com/page?id=12302