Broadway theaters to make disabled accessibility changes
Nine of Broadway’s most famous theaters in a settlement with the feds agreed Wednesday to make massive changes to boost accessibility for disabled patrons.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara announced the filing and simultaneous settlement of a lawsuit his office brought against the Nederlander Organization, which owns and operates the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Neil Simon, Palace and Richard Rodgers theatres.
Under the settlement, approved by Manhattan federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla, Nederlander will eliminate more than 500 accessibility barriers in its theaters’ restrooms, concession counters, waiting areas and box offices to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The theater giant will also now offer 70 wheelchair-accessible seating locations and 134 aisle seats for persons who can transfer from wheelchairs to regular seats. The company will also pay $45,000 to the government.
Bharara said the settlement coupled with a similar 2003 lawsuit filed by the feds against another theater operator, the Shubert Organization, now means more than 20 of Broadway’s 40 theaters will be “more accessible than ever before.”