Movie theater chains, including AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal Cinemas sue NJ Government for keeping businesses closed while churches reopen. The lawsuit states:
"Defendants’ orders have prevented, and continue to prevent, the exhibition to the public of films of significant artistic, cultural, political and popular merit. In addition, Defendants’ orders, which allow, for example, places of worship to reopen while forbidding movie theaters from reopening, constitute an overt governmental preference for one protected message over other protected messages.
In fact, Defendants’ orders, for example, allowing shopping malls to reopen, while requiring movie theaters to remain closed, demonstrates a preference for unprotected activities over protected speech."
All cinema companies have been struggling due to the pandemic and are trying to stay afloat by furloughing and laying off staff. A ruling is expected as soon as this week. If the movie chains prevail, expect similar lawsuits in other states, including New York.
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