Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Independent Movie Theaters Take a Stand

Given the pitiful way the U.S. multiplex movie theater industry folded like a cardboard suitcase after North Korean threats about screening "The Interview," it's very nice to see that independent movie theaters are taking a stand. The movie will now open at independent theaters all across the U.S. on Christmas Day.
Kim Jong-un, ready for his closeup?

The independents, represented by a trade group called Art House Convergence, had petitioned Sony to release the film, which Sony had previously indicated would be shelved permanently because of grandiose, ungrammatical threats of violence issued by the North Korean hackers. You know, the people who threatened to set the White House on fire and reduce the East Coast to a pile of embers.

 Here's the petition the independent theaters signed.

The comedy, which sounds fairly weak, frankly, would have faded from public attention after a few weeks -- if the North Koreans hadn't made a marketing case for it with their criminal internet hacking of Sony. Yes, perhaps using their one working computer on the single day of the week they have electricity, the North Koreans -- who can't feed their people, even the ones who aren't locked up in concentration camps -- managed to make a grand mess at Sony Entertainment by hacking and releasing private emails at Sony's movie division, which is located in the old MGM studio complex in Culver City. At least I now know what Sony execs think of Angelina Jolie and her plans to remake "Cleopatra" (the previous version of which sank the old 20th Century Fox, incidentally). Also that Ms. Jolie thinks the way you abbreviate "et ectera" is "ect".

The Wrap, by the way, also reports -- without providing details -- that the movie will be made available for on-demand viewing.

The independent movie houses that will now show the movie starting Christmas Day include the Loft Cinema in Tucson, the Plaza in Atlanta and the Alamo Drafthouse cinemas based in Austin and dozens of others.

These are theaters that are helping to keep alive the art of cinema in all of its forms, while the corporate multiplexes grasp at straws amid declining attendance.

And now let's watch local newspapers and TV stations try to stir up hysteria about those North Korean threats to theaters playing the movie. You can bet they're working on that right now.


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