The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta is one of the first theaters in the country playing The Interview.
Sony Pictures pulled the movie after there were threats of violence at theaters showing it, then the company decided to go ahead and release it on Christmas Day. There was a festive crowd waiting in line for the first showing.
The tickets for the show had sold out ahead of time. Ricks Carson, who lives nearby in Virginia-Highland, said he bought his tickets in person the afternoon they went on sale.
“Soon as I heard about this theater getting the tickets, I thought, I just gotta be here,” he said.
Brother and sister Michael Brawly and Vanessa Wright said they’re fans of James Franco and Seth Rogen, the stars of the movie, but that’s not why they were at the theater, especially since the movie’s available online, too.
“This is a statement about freedom of expression to me,” said Brawly. “Let Kim Jong-Un know what I think about it”
“We thought about sending him our ticket stubs,” laughed Wright.
Independent theaters like the 75-year-old Plaza are important for small and independent movies — and for controversial ones — said Plaza co-owner John Brieger.
“This isn’t about going to a movie,” said Brieger. “This is about having the right and the freedom to choose to go see the movie, and not being told whether you can or you can’t.”
The Interview is playing at the Plaza through January 1. Aurora Cineplex in Roswell is also showing it.