Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,900+ case briefs...

Bigelow v. RKO Radio Pictures

United States Supreme Court
327 U.S. 251 (1946)


The plaintiffs owned the Jackson Park Theatre, which was located on the south side of Chicago. The plaintiffs sued a group of film distributors and a chain of movie theaters (collectively, defendants) for antitrust violations. Bigelow presented evidence during trial that the distributors and the movie theaters conspired together to give the movie theaters the right to run feature films for an exclusive period before other movie theaters, including Jackson Park Theatre, were allowed to show the films. The plaintiffs claimed damages of $120,000 and presented evidence that a comparable movie theater that was a part of the defendant’s chain collected $115,982.34 more in net receipts than the Jackson Park Theatre. The plaintiffs also introduced a comparison of Jackson Park Theatre’s net receipts for a four-year time period when the theater was able to show films that had not been previously shown in a theater and the five-year period immediately following the theater’s inability to show films that had not been previously shown. This comparison showed a reduction of $125,659.00 in net receipts after the theater was unable to show films that had not been previously shown. The jury returned a verdict for $120,000 in favor of the plaintiffs. The trial court entered a judgment for treble that amount in accordance with § 4 of the Clayton Act. The defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court based on the uncertainty of the proof of damages. The plaintiffs petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stone, C.J.)

Dissent (Frankfurter, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 284,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,900 briefs, keyed to 201 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.