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Connecticut is proposing a new law that restricts the sound levels of movie theaters. If passed, Connecticut would be the first state to pass such a law. This proposal, although seen as beneficial to theater workers, is drawing quite an opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The bill would prohibit theaters from showing anything that passes a sound level of 85 decibels. The American Tinnitus Association compares 85 decibels to the sound of average traffic, 80 decibels to an alarm clock two-feet away, and 100 decibels to a blow dryer.
People arguing for the bill feel that they are protecting theater workers from hearing loss, while members of the opposing team feel occasional loud noises during movies won’t impact hearing.
According to the Associated Press, Dr. Robert Dobie, a professor at the University of Texas, said, “I feel quite comfortable that the exposures are not anywhere near hazardous. It's the combination of level and duration that matters."
The MPAA is fighting the bill. According to The Almagest, the MPAA feels this proposed bill violates the First Amendment. The bill is currently being reviewed by Connecticut committees.