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September 16, 2004

InSight Cinema Responds to Deaf Discrimination Suit against the Regal Entertainment Group

From: Business Wire (press release), CA - Sep 16, 2004

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 2004--In response to a deaf discrimination suit against the Regal Entertainment Group, Nanci Linke-Ellis, Executive Director of InSight Cinema, announced today that the charges against Regal are patently false and should be immediately dismissed.

"The charges made against Regal Entertainment Group by NJ Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Civil Rights Director J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, are so distorted and blatantly false that one has to wonder who has truly been served by this allegedly 'voluntary settlement.'"

InSight Cinema, a 501 c3 non profit organization, is the largest provider of open captioned films in the U.S. Utilizing the industry standard of 35 mm prints, Regal Entertainment Group provides open caption viewing of feature films throughout the United States. Theatre chains like Regal must work with the studios to secure enough prints to handle the demand.

Linke-Ellis, who is deaf and a cochlear implant user, began the open-captioned program because she wanted to go to the movies more often. "This is a for-profit business, not an FCC regulated broadcast program. Regal was the first to provide a comprehensive website, advertised show times, theatre manager training program and free screenings to deaf and hard of hearing children. Regal has always been a strong advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing and for them to be accused of any thing other than that is both unfair and untrue." "It's ridiculous when you consider the fact that the Attorney General has taken it upon himself to decide upon a system that the deaf and hard of hearing have gone on record stating their dislike. To haul people in an office and tell them what they are going to do or else without any effort to research existing Regal programs is equally outrageous."

"Regal is, and remains, the most committed exhibitor in the U.S. to support open captioning and providing the deaf and hard of hearing community access to feature films in the format most desired by that community. They have for years provided this access to the citizens of New Jersey and recently began providing such shows in every New Jersey Facility they operate. No other theatre chain provided such access to the deaf community in a single state. For the New Jersey Attorney General to accuse Regal of "blatant and irrefutable discrimination" is both untrue and a disservice to the deaf and hard of hearing community. One of Regal Entertainment Group's top executives is the father of a deaf son. He has a vested interested in wanting to provide the deaf and hard of hearing with a system they want. It is without question that the majority of informed deaf and hard of hearing citizens, and deaf and hard of hearing advocacy groups have requested and desire open caption movies and have expressly stated their dislike for the rear Window Device. The New Jersey Attorney General should be aware of this fact and should have recognized these desires rather than force all deaf and hard of hearing citizens to use a device they dislike. What's right is right. And this AG is dead wrong."

InSight Cinema
Nanci Linke-Ellis, 310-452-8700

© Business Wire 2004