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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Disabled 7-year-old ejected from theater

From Drudge. I don't know who the asshole manager was at that Lowes cineplex, but he needs to be the one who gets thrown out of the theater. I also imagine that there's a cranky bastard out there that complained to the management in the first place, and to him or her I say:


Disabled 7-year-old ejected from theater

By Dave Richardson
Times Herald-Record
drichardson@th-record.com

Town of Wallkill – If you're a 7-year-old kid with cerebral palsy and autism, you have to take your laughs anywhere you can get them. Just don't have too much fun at the local movie theater, or you might get thrown out.

That's what happened to young Anthony Pratti this week. To say his parents are upset about it would be an understatement.

Anthony, who uses a wheelchair, was with his parents, his sister and his grandmother at the Loews Cineplex theaters in the Galleria at Crystal Run Sunday, watching a 1:15 p.m. matinee of the G-rated film "March of the Penguins."

The family sat in the wheelchair section provided by the theater. Anthony was having a good time, said his mom, Gina Pratti. "He was laughing, but he really wasn't much louder than any of the other kids," she said.

About 15 minutes into the film, one of the theater's managers approached the family, she said. "He said our son was laughing too loud," Pratti said. "My husband told him Anthony didn't understand, that he was disabled, but that we'd try to quiet him down."

Not good enough, apparently – the manager brusquely told the family that Anthony had to leave, Pratti said. Outraged, the family followed the manager to the lobby, where they were told they all didn't have to leave – just Anthony, Pratti said. Pratti was dumbfounded. "I said to him, what are we supposed to do, wheel him outside and leave him there?" she said.

The manager refunded the family's ticket purchase and sent them on their way, she said. Pratti and her husband have spent the past three days making phone calls and sending e-mails, trying to get someone – anyone – from Loews to give them an explanation. "Not one person from Loews has called me back," Pratti said.

When contacted by the Times Herald-Record yesterday, a representative of Loews corporate headquarters said the company is concerned by Pratti's story, and is looking into Sunday's events. The company says it will issue a statement today.

Pratti has spoken with attorneys about the incident, but isn't sure she wants to pursue any legal action. Meanwhile, Pratti says she hopes Loews will do whatever it takes to make amends. "This was only the third movie Anthony had ever seen, and now we're afraid to go back because they might throw us out again," Pratti said.

Explanations aside, Pratti has a simple message for the manager she says publicly humiliated her son: "Shame on you."

Here’s some corporate info on Loews. Feel free to e-mail using a combination of different e-mail addresses.

Put the person’s first name DOT last name and also you can try first initial and last name run together, last name and first initial. Whatever combination you can think of and then add to the end:

@loewscpx.com AND
@phx.corporate-ir.net

Example – john.doe@loewscpx.com; john.doe@phx.corporate-ir.net; jdoe@loewscpx.com; jdoe@phx.corporate-ir.net

If you do enough combinations, at least one is bound to get through. The names list is below:

Executive Officers and Key Employees

--Travis Reid - President and CEO Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--John J. Walker - Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Bryan Berndt - Vice President, Finance and Controller Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Miguel Angel Davila - Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Cinemex, S.A. de C.V.
--John McCauley - Senior Vice President, Marketing Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Michael Politi - Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Steve Bunnell - Senior Vice President, Head Film Buyer, Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Allan Fox - Vice President, Human Resources U.S.
--Jim Fagerstrom - Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.
--Alan Benjamin - Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Loews Cineplex Theatres, Inc.

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