Broadway theater group settles federal disability lawsuit

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NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 19: People walk past the Shubert Theater featuring the Broadway play Matilda in New York City, on Friday, April 19, 2013.

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the filing and settlement of a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against JUJAMCYN THEATERS LLC, the owners and operators of five of Broadway’s most historic theaters, the AL HIRSCHFELD, the AUGUST WILSON, the EUGENE O’NEILL, the ST. JAMES, and the WALTER KERR, involving violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (the “ADA”).  The settlement, in the form of a consent decree, was entered yesterday by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.

U.S. Attorney Strauss said: “As New York City begins to reopen and welcome the world once again, we are pleased that Jujamcyn Theaters has worked collaboratively with the Office to improve accessibility at its historic venues, so that all patrons are able to enjoy Broadway.  As a result of this suit and settlement, coupled with similar lawsuits filed by the Office against the Shubert Theaters in 2003, and the Nederlander Theaters in 2014, all three of the major Broadway theater organizations have committed to making their venues significantly more accessible to people with disabilities.”

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According to the Complaint and Consent Decree filed in Manhattan federal court:

In the course of an investigation and negotiation over several years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office identified numerous ADA violations at each of the five theaters operated by JUJAMCYN THEATERS LLC, all of which were opened in the 1920s.  The ADA generally requires that, for facilities constructed prior to the effective date of the ADA in 1993, barriers to accessibility be removed where it is readily achievable to do so.  Throughout the Government’s investigation and the negotiation of the Consent Decree, JUJAMCYN THEATERS LLC agreed to remove hundreds of barriers to accessibility.

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Under the Consent Decree, JUJAMCYN THEATERS LLC agrees to continue its efforts to improve accessibility at its theaters, as the schedules of shows at the theaters permit. Specifically, JUJAMCYN THEATERS LLC has agreed to do the following: