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The stairstep style was designed to provide better viewing, more seat and leg room for all patrons and enhance the movie going experience. 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." Since, by sitting in the front row, handicapped patrons' view was only awkward and not technically obscured, Cinemark was not violating the law. Cinemark Holdings, Inc.
(Cinemark) is a motion picture exhibitor, with theatres in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala. The Company also managed theatres in the United States, Brazil and Colombia during the year ended December 31, 2009. As of December 31, 2009, Cinemark managed its business under two segments: U.S. markets and international markets. 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 2006 Cinemark purchased Century theatres that added over 80 theatres and many more screens. In 2009, Cinemark introduced their own large screen concept known as XD and has plans to install it in every first run movie theatre. In the 1990s Cinemark Theatres was one of the first chains to incorporate stadium-style seating into their theatres.
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