Making Accessibility Happen
Here’s what I e-mailed the corporate headquarters of Regal Cinemas (a recently acquired subsidiary of the Cineworld Group), and why I say that their motto “The Best Place to Watch a Movie!” only applies if you can get in the door.
Copy sent to: Regal Entertainment Group; Regal Oregon, Washington, Idaho DM, Shane Mongar; Regal Bridgeport Village GM, Joe Atchley; Regal Director of Human Resources, Jennifer Jones; Tigard building officials, mayor and chamber of commerce; and The Oregonian.
To Whom It May Concern at Regal Entertainment Group:
Regal’s website states:
As a patron who utilizes a wheelchair, ADA automatic front door openers are a basic requirement to “ensure equal use and enjoyment” of my local Regal cinema (Tigard, OR). Instead, I am confronted with heavily weighted front doors that are barricades; I must be assisted by others in order to enter the building. This is frustrating and discriminatory, and a perfect example a social construct that perpetuates disability as a difference that requires dependence.
At present, and although not posted nor offered outright, Regal Bridgeport Village (Tigard, OR) offers a complimentary companion pass to moviegoers with disabilities that require assistance. Although well intended, this very, very discreet practice is an inexpensive social Band-Aid, keeping patrons with disabilities dependent on others to enter and exit the building.
Regal Bridgeport Village ticket takers have relayed to me that a steady stream of patrons ask why there aren’t any ADA front door openers. Then, offer to get a manager who listens empathetically given he/she is at the discretion of corporate management to make an impact.
Until then, from the perspective of someone living with a disability, Regal Cinemas does not live up to what it states online. I also find it ironically disrespectful that the Regal Foundation donates to charitable causes that promote rehabilitation (such as the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center) but does not provide adequate access to someone in a wheelchair at every one of their facilities.
You can help!
If you or anyone you know is experiencing similar accessibility issues at any Regal Cinema, please join me in voicing your comments.
Contact: Regal Entertainment Group
101 E. Blount Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37920
Phone: 1 (865) 922-1123
(Concerning Regal Bridgeport Village [or anywhere in Oregon, Washington or Idaho] call DM, Shane Mongar: (503) 968-7939); or DM, Dave: (425) 255-0547).
“The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organized, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.” (By Scope, an organization based in the UK).