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RC Theatres in York County fails to comply with ADA regulations for the blind

Local man alleges discrimination after theater fails to provide descriptive audio headsets

Preston Gaylor, 25, who is blind says he is trying to make things right after RC Theatres in York County failed to comply with The American Disabilities Act regulations for the visually impaired.

Gaylor says earlier this week he went to RC Theatres, formally known as Frank Theatres in the Queensgate Shopping Plaza in York Township.

When he arrived, Gaylor asked for descriptive audio headsets, but he got a response he was not expecting.

“They seemed like they had no idea,” said Preston Gaylor of York County.

The descriptive audio headsets are a narrated version of a film describing what is being seen on the big screen. They also have line by line audio, which is an important tool that helps people have the full experience of a movie who can't see the screen.

“It makes me feel like I am in another world,” said Gaylor.

Preston says the woman who was working at the box office when he arrived called the manager on a walkie talkie to double check if they had the device.

“She seemed like she didn’t know either like what they even were,” said Gaylor. “Nobody came out to apologize to us and that made us even more angry,” he added.

Preston’s mother who was with him that day says she ultimately had to describe the nearly two hour movie scene by scene to him, which is a violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It just didn’t feel right like I was welcome,” said Gaylor.

Gaylor and his mother later wrote an email to RC Theatres to share their experience.

RC Theatres replied with an apology to the family saying they are under new ownership and offered free tickets for a future showing.

However, after Fox43 did some digging, we found the new ownership took over in November of 2019, making it three months that the location has failed to be ADA compliant.

The Chief Operating Officer of RC, David Phillips called Fox43 reporter Jossie Carbonare saying the incident occurred due to the fact they are under renovations.

"I don't know the word discrimination applies to this specifically or not,” said Phillips. “He certainly didn't get the experience he deserves and is untitled to.”

Phillips says the company plans to have audio description available and fully installed by the end of February.

“Anyone can lose their sight at anytime, I just don’t want to see it happen to any other person,” said Gaylor.

RC Theatres could potentially face up to $75,000 in fines with the ADA.

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