Small theaters' claims that large cinema chains keep them from screening first-run movies have reportedly prompted a Department of Justice investigation. News of a federal inquiry comes as arguments over preferential treatment and exclusivity have been heating up in recent years.
"A Supreme Court decision in 1948 required that movie studios divest their ownership in theaters. The idea was to guarantee independent theaters could show new movie releases. Since then, major chains have consolidated, and they've been clashing with smaller theaters over who gets dibs on first run ...
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