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COMMONWEALTH v. ALBANO. COMMONWEALTH V. WARBURTON (07/19/51)

July 19, 1951

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ALBANO. COMMONWEALTH V. WARBURTON



COUNSEL

Herbert J. Winkler, Wilkes-Barre, Donald A. Lewis, Catawissa, for appellants.

No book or appearance for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 169 Pa. Super. Page 463]

GUNTHER, Judge.

Michael Albano and Ruth Warburton appeal from an order of the court below sustaining their convictions by a Justice of the Peace of violating the Act of July 2, 1935, P.L. 599, § 2, 4 P.S. § 60, prohibiting motion picture exhibitions on Sundays.

On Sunday, October 22, 1950, a partnership consisting of Joseph, Isreal, Irving and Jerome Engel, operated the Family Drive-In Theater in Scott Township, Columbia County. Scott Township has not voted to legalize the exhibition of motion pictures within the Township so that under the Act of 1935, supra, it is illegal to exhibit motion pictures on Sundays. On that date, Ruth Warburton and Michael Albano, appellants, were employed by the partnership as cashier and projectionist respectively. They were charged and found guilty before a Justice of the Peace of violating the

[ 169 Pa. Super. Page 464]

Act of 1935, supra, and sentenced to pay a fine of $50. and costs. An appeal was allowed by the court of quarter sessions and after hearing upon an agreed statement of facts the court below confirmed the sentence as to each of the appellants. Joseph Engel, one of the co-partners, was also found guilty and paid the fine of $50. and costs. No appeal was taken from this conviction.

The Act of 1935, supra, so far as here pertinent, reads: 'It shall be unlawful for any person, copartnership, association or corporation to conduct, stage, manage, operate or engage in any motion picture exhibitions, regardless of whether a charge of admission thereto or incidental thereto is made or whether labor or business is necessary to conduct, stage, manage or operate the same, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, after the hour of two o'clock postmeridian, unless the voters of the municipality have first voted in favor of motion picture exhibitions and sound motion picture exhibitions on Sunday as hereinafter provided, and in no case shall a person be employed as a projectionist or operator of motion pictures on Sunday or in or about motion picture exhibitions, unless he or she shall have had twenty-four consecutive hours of rest during the preceding six week days.' (Italics supplied.)

Appellants contend that the words '* * * person, copartnership, association or corporation * * *' which precede the words '* * * to conduct, stage, manage, operate or engage in * * *' clearly manifest a legislative intent to restrict the applicability of the statute to those occupying a proprietary or managerial relationship to the exhibition, and were not intended to embrace within their meaning those persons who were merely employees of the proprietors or managers.

The Act of 1935, supra, was enacted to prohibit motion picture exhibitions on ...


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