View Full Version : Movie theaters are being bullied into offering handicap discounts

The Bobster
03-26-2018, 10:06 AM

Movie theaters are being bullied into offering handicap discounts
By Carl Campanile
March 26, 2018 | 12:36am

New York City movie theaters are starring in a high-stakes drama as they face pressure to offer discounts to disabled patrons.

Activist Adrian Edwards-Smith, 57, who suffers from a neurological disorder, has been blitzing theaters with e-mails and phone calls demanding they give lower prices to the handicapped — and threatening that he’s keeping a list of movie houses that refuse.

“Wherever there is a discount in place for a senior or students, then the same exact discount should be made available to the US federally disabled :confused:,” Edwards-Smith said. “The word ‘No’ means nothing to me. Only the word ‘Yes’ will be accepted.” :mad:

Edwards-Smith notes that many of New York’s theaters have not-for-profit, tax-exempt status and receive government funding — and therefore should be required to provide discounts to disabled New Yorkers.

One of the places that has acquiesced to Edwards-Smith is Williamsburg Cinemas, which now offers a $9 ticket for the disabled.

“Williamsburg Cinemas has recognized the need for the Federally Disabled to receive a discount,” the theater’s Noah Elgart said in an March 18 e-mail to Edwards-Smith. “We hear the voice of our guests and are happy to oblige.”

IFC Cinema NYC, Anthology Film Archives in the East Village and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn also pledged support, Edwards-Smith said.

He is also currently in talks with Landmark at 57 Cinema, Kew Gardens Cinemas, Museum of the Moving Image, BAM, Cobble Hill Cinemas and MoMA.

Film Forum Director Karen Cooper told Edwards-Smith in a January e-mail, “We will offer anyone with appropriate ‘disabled’ (federal, metro, whatever) ID the $9 (as opposed to $15) tix as a $50 membership buyer. That’s the deal.”

On his naughty list for refusing to offer discounts or failing to respond: Cinépolis in Chelsea, AMC, REGAL, Quad Cinema, Symphony Space, Film Society of Lincoln Center and Reading International, which owns the Angelika, Paris and Beekman theaters, among others.

City officials have focused on working with theaters to make the venues more physically accessible and providing specific program and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, rather than providing ticket discounts.