Disability Group to File Human Rights Complaint Against Theatre Chain

MLPD News Release

15 October 1996—The Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) will file a human rights complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission against the Famous Players Theatre chain at 2:30 on Wednesday, October 16, 1996 at 259 Portage Avenue. The complaint concerns a national policy adopted by the Theatre chain that bans wheelchairs from theatres that are not already wheelchair accessible. In Winnipeg this affects the Northstar Threatre at 286 Portage Avenue.

On October 10, the MLPD held tow demonstrations in front of the Theatre to protest the policy. At noon, there was an "informational picket", and in the evening members of the MLPD who use wheelchairs attempted to buy a ticket at the Theatre. They were denied access.

"We spoke to Famous Players Theater's head office in Toronto about our concerns with this regressive policy. They have not responded since our initial conversation, so we feel that the only recourse we have is to file a human rights complaint," said Lloyd Terry, MLPD Chairperson. "This is a very serious issue that denies people with disabilities the right to enter a public facility. Instead of banning wheelchairs from inaccessible theatres, one would think that the logical step would be to either make the theatres accessible or close them down," Terry added.

"We are filing the complaint to give the Famous Players Theatre the message that people with disabilities will not tolerate this policy," said Mr. Terry. "Hopefully, this will convince them to look seriously at changing it." he added.


For more information, contact Lloyd Terry, 204-943-6099 or 204-254-2012.

MLPD Information Sheet on Famous Players Theatre Chain

The Famous Players Theatre Chain has adopted a national policy:

Theatres that are not already completely wheelchair accessible will ban people with wheelchairs. They say wheelchairs are a fire hazard!

If you bring someone with you to help you into the theatre, you will be refused entry because you are in a wheelchair.

This regressive policy affects the Northstar Theatre in Winnipeg.

Instead of making the Theatre wheelchair accessible so everyone can enjoy this public facility, they are BANNING WHEELCHAIRS!

It's like telling someone to leave their legs at the door!

It's against our human rights!