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Cinemark Theatres

Cinemark was started in 1984 by Lee Roy Mitchell as a chain of theatres in Texas, Utah, and California. Through new theatre construction and acquisitions, it became the third largest theatre chain in the United States and the second largest theatre chain in the world. In 2009, Cinemark introduced its own large screen concept, known as XD, and has plans to install it in many well-performing locations around the world. All XD screens installed after August 2010 featured (or upgraded to) 7.1 surround sound and those installed after October 2012 feature (or upgraded to) Dolby Atmos. Mitchell's son Kevin Mitchell worked with the company as well as an executive until leaving in 2007 to found ShowBiz Cinemas.
In the 1990s, Cinemark Theatres was one of the first chains to incorporate stadium-style seating into their theatres.9 In 1997, several disabled individuals filed a lawsuit against Cinemark, alleging that their stadium style seats forced patrons who used wheelchairs to sit in the front row of the theatre, effectively rendering them unable to see the screen without assuming a horizontal position. The case was heard in El Paso district court as Lara v. Cinemark USA, where a judge ruled that the architecture of Cinemark's theatres violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ruling was later overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Cinemark only had to provide an "unobstructed view" of the screen, and that since handicapped patrons' view was only awkward and not actually obscured, Cinemark was not violating the law.
In response, the United States Department of Justice filed their own suit against Cinemark while appealing the appellate court's decision. The DOJ argued that, while Cinemark was not technically violating the ADA, it was nevertheless discriminating against handicapped patrons by relegating them to the worst seats in the auditorium.11 Cinemark responded by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, alleging misconduct on the DOJ's behalf.12 Cinemark's lawsuit was thrown out, and the Department of Justice proceeded with its lawsuit. Cinemark ultimately agreed to settle out of court before the court came to a ruling, agreeing with the DOJ that it was in the company's best interest to end litigation before a ruling was issued.11 Per the terms of the settlement, Cinemark agreed to renovate all existing theatres to provide wheelchair-bound and other handicapped patrons access to rows higher in its theatres, and also agreed that all future theatres would be constructed so as to allow handicapped patrons better access to higher rows. In turn, the Department of Justice agreed not to bring further litigation against the company in relation to the architecture of stadium seating as it applies to the ADA.
In November 2012 Cinemark announced it was acquiring Rave Cinemas, the Dallas, Texas¨Cbased chain that operates the former Bridge theater with IMAX in Los Angeles, for $240 million. The deal included 32 theaters located in 12 states, representing 483 screens. Tim Warner, Cinemark's CEO said in a statement "The acquisition of these high quality assets will further enhance Cinemark's diversified domestic footprint, including the expansion of our presence in the New England market".15 The sale was closed on May 29, 2013, but Cinemark was required to sell the Rave Stonybrook 20 + IMAX theater in Louisville KY, the Rave Ritz Center 16 in southern New Jersey, and either the Rave Hickory Creek 16 in Hickory Creek, Texas or the Cinemark 14 in Denton, Texas. In addition, Cinemark's chairman Lee Roy Mitchell was also required to sell the Movie Tavern Inc. to Southern Theatres.16 On July 18, 2013, Cinemark found a buyer, Carmike Cinemas, for the Stonybrook 20 & IMAX, Rave Ritz Center 16, and the Rave Hickory Creek 16. With this change, National CineMedia will be replaced with Screenvision at the Stonybrook 20 and Ritz Center 16. Screenvision is already at Hickory Creek, Texas at the time of the announcement of the sale.17 The sale was closed on August 16, 2013.18 On September 12, 2013, Southern Theatres announced that they acquired The Movie Tavern from Lee Roy Mitchell after he was required to sell The Movie Tavern after Cinemark bought Rave Cinemas on May 29, 2013. The Movie Tavern will remain a brand of Southern Theatres. As part of Southern Theatre's long-term deal with National CineMedia, The Movie Tavern will switch from Screenvision to National CineMedia in June 2014.