National Theater Chains Choose Not Show Movie Depicting the Assassination of President Bush

Two large theater chains have passed on showing “The Death of a President.”

But the country’s largest theater chain, Regal Entertainment Group, has passed on playing the film, citing the subject matter as the primary reason. “We would not be inclined to program this film,” Regal Entertainment Group CEO Mike Campbell said. “We feel it is inappropriate to portray the future assassination of a sitting president, regardless of political affiliation.”

Texas-based Cinemark USA also has declined to play the indie film, corporate spokesman Terrell Falk said. The circuit, which recently completed its acquisition of northern California-based Century Theatres, will not allow the regional player to book the film either. “We’re not playing it on any of our screens,” Falk said. “It’s a subject matter we don’t wish to play. We decided to pass on the film.”

Finally, some common sense and reason.

National Amusements is still considering showing it. I hope they choose not to.

Boston-based National Amusements, controlled by Viacom Inc. chief Sumner Redstone, still is in negotiations as to whether it will play the R-rated film from director Gabriel Range, who reportedly was the subject of death threats before the film’s debut in Toronto.

“We’re currently in discussions with the distributor of the film,” said Wanda Whitson, director of corporate communications at National Amusements. “The availability of the film in our markets is an important factor affecting this discussion. Our film department does consider all films, and we’ve run controversial films in the past.”

There was a time when it was illegal to threaten the life of a president. As much as I couldn’t stand President Clinton or President Carter, I would have been outraged if someone made a movies like this depicting their assassination. Criticizing them on their politics or their policies is one thing, but assassination movies are a whole different animal. They’re unacceptable.

Bait and switch at the Boston Globe
"Thou art a priest for ever"


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