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February 26th, 2003

In the mad rush to make it to the theater with enough time to purchase the tickets, grab a bucket of popcorn, and still catch opening credits, subsequent previews and ads tend to be our one saving grace. However, for one Illinois high-school English teacher, those same commercials are reason enough to file a lawsuit.

On February 21st, 2003, Miriam Fisch, as a plaintiff in a class-action suit against Loews Cineplex Entertainment Group, charged the movie company with “failing to start movies at scheduled times and showing commercials for up to 10 minutes”.  The suit continues on to accuse Loews of bombarding "captive audiences with unannounced and unwanted advertisements."

Loews has since responded with the following statement.

"We believe that this lawsuit is frivolous and completely without merit. The exhibition business has a long tradition of providing information, entertainment and advertisements prior to feature films, including previews for upcoming motion pictures. In fact, the movie-going public has come to expect this type of content prior to viewing the main feature. We are committed to providing our patrons with the best overall movie-going experience and believe that this pre-feature content on the whole enhances that experience." February 21st, 2003.

Though no specific mention of reparations has been made in the suit, a lawyer for Miriam Fisch has been quoted as saying. "The movie industry went for 100 years without commercials…Our basic proposition is that if you are forced to watch commercials, you should be compensated for it."

George W. Horta III

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