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Sun-Ray Cinema to show 'The Interview'

Sony releasing controversial film online, in about 300 independent theaters

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the next nine days, Sun-Ray Cinema in Riverside will be showing "The Interview," the Sony Pictures film that drew a wave of controversy and even threats against theaters.

Sun-Ray is one of nearly 300 independently-owned theaters nationwide to show the film.

Sony Pictures also plans to release "The Interview" online Wednesday for viewers to rent or purchase.

"The Interview" is about an assassination plot against the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. It is widely believed that Sony Pictures suffered a cyberattack last month partly due to North Korea's fury over the movie. 

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Last week, threats were made against moviegoers at theaters scheduled to show the film.

Sun-Ray Cinema in Riverside will begin a limited run of the movie starting at midnight Wednesday. People like Nathan Michelson were at Sun-Ray early Wednesday to get tickets.

"I would not miss the movie for anything," Michelson said. "Who are they tell us what to do with our movies?"

But because of prior commitments Sun-Ray is only showing "The Interview" at midnight.

In a statement, the owner of Sun-Ray said:

"Sun-Ray Cinema has been scheduled to play 'The Interview' for the last six weeks. Even after the five major cinema chains, likely under pressure from insurance carriers, declined to play the film, Sun-Ray was among the 250 theatres nationwide who were committed to following through with scheduled screenings as the Department of Homeland Security identified no credible threat to movie theatres.

Upon further consideration, it seems that Sony has again changed its distribution plan, an adjustment that happens with less controversial films very frequently without nearly so much attention, and we are now scheduled to play 'The Interview' every night at midnight. It's unfortunate that fingers were pointed initially at the nation's cinemas as the cause for 'The Interview' being pulled from release, and we welcome the opportunity to screen a film that would otherwise not play in Jacksonville, but we do that daily and without fanfare."

Moviegoers said they are not worried about any retaliation, and some said it's important that the movie is shown in town, even if they don't plan to see it.

"I think we should show it," Karen Hamill said. "I don't think anybody should deter us from showing that movie. … (But) I don't think I would go because it's not the type of movie I would like to see."

But many people said they want to see it, not only for a laugh but as a way to show support for freedom of speech. 


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