Theaters in Los Feliz, Westwood, Azusa, Agoura Hills, Glendale, Granada Hills, Commerce, Van Nuys, downtown Los Angeles and Westminster — along with at least five theaters in Riverside County — plan to show “The Interview” on Christmas Day following Sony Pictures’ announcement that it will open the film in limited release. The movie, a comedy that features a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, triggered a massive cyberattack on Sony.
Vintage Cinemas has scheduled four showings — 1:30, 4:15, 7 and 9:50 p.m. — on Thursday at its Los Feliz theater, 1822 N. Vermont Ave. According to its website, Regency Theatres plans to show the film at its cinemas in Azusa, Agoura Hills, Granada Hills, Commerce, Van Nuys, Westminster, Perris and Riverside. In Westwood, the Crest planned to begin showing the movie on Christmas Day. The MGN Five Star in Glendale also said it will show “The Interview” beginning on Dec. 25. The Downtown Independent announced that it will screen the movie on Christmas Day at 4:20 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.
The nonprofit group Cinefamily quickly posted on Twitter that it would like to show the film at The Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Laemmle Theatres said it had “other film commitments” on Christmas, but the film is expected to open on Dec. 31 in North Hollywood.
In Riverside County, three Coachella Valley theaters will show “The Interview.” Cinemas Palme D’Or in Palm Desert will have two Christmas night screenings of the film. According to the website for the theater, the film will be screened at 6:30 and 9:15 p.m. Thursday and continuing for at least a week. Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs and UltraStar Cinemas’ Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City will show the movie Christmas morning through at least New Year’s Day. The Pickford is calling the film a “studio restricted special engagement.” Regency Theatres plans to show the film beginning Thursday at the University Village 10 theater on University Ave. in Riverside, and at the Perris 10 complex.
Sony officials originally scrubbed the planned theatrical release of “The Interview” in the wake of threats posted online by the hacking group “Guardians of Peace.” Federal authorities have since concluded that North Korea was behind the cyberattack, which led to the public release of reams of internal emails and other documents from Sony.
The hackers had threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters that show “The Interview,” a Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy focused on an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Sony officials last week said they would not release the film Thursday, with many theater chains announcing they would not show the movie in light of the threats.
Sony faced immediate backlash in Hollywood over its decision, with many accusing the theater of caving to the demands of the hackers at the expense of freedom of expression. Even President Barack Obama said he thought the studio made a mistake by pulling the film, saying, “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”
Wednesday, however, the studio announced it would move ahead with a limited release of the film.
“We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Sony Entertainment Chairman/CEO Michael Lynton said. “At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.
“I want to thank our talent on ‘The Interview’ and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month,” Lynton said. “While we hope this is only the first step of the film’s release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”
Rogen and Franco both took to Twitter to praise the decision to release the film.
“The people have spoken!” Rogen wrote on his Twitter page. “Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn’t give up! ‘The Interview’ will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!”
— Wire reports