BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The show goes on. Despite threats, “The Interview” premieres in Maryland.
Sony Pictures reversed its decision, allowing the film to be shown. Threats of 9/11 style attacks at theaters have not materialized.
The FBI traced those threats to the North Korean government, which is angry the comedy portrays a mission to assassinate the country’s leader.
Rick Ritter has more on what the scene was like at the Eastpoint Cinemas in Essex—one of the few theaters to show the movie.
People say they went to the movie to make a political statement. The theater did increase security, but it was just one of three in the entire state to show the movie.
With bomb sniffing dogs canvassing their theater, owners of the Eastpoint Cinemas aren’t taking any chances with the Maryland premiere of “The Interview.” It’s a security measure that’s a first ever for the theater.
“Never. First time ever,” said Ron Sween, owner of Eastpoint Cinemas.
The movie is a highlight for many on Christmas Day.
“Just kind of wanted to see what everyone was all riled up about,” said Josh Sehnitzer.
The comedy depicts a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. This angered leaders there, so they orchestrated devastating hacks on Sony Pictures’ computer system and made violent threats against the theaters if the picture was shown, sparking controversy nationwide.
“How would you feel if they made a movie like that about the United States?” said one moviegoer.
“Let’s make a political statement and say you’re not going to shut us down, we’re going to see what we’re going to see,” said Anita Lamont.
Eastpoint Cinemas was one of just a few hundred theaters nationwide to show the movie. Before the threats, it was slated to debut in thousands.
At one point, Sony canceled distribution altogether.
“We cannot have a third rate country dictate to us on what we can see and what we cannot see,” said Robert Blank.
Along with embarrassing emails and financial data exposed by the hackers, many say the studio now has to patch up their reputation.
“The leaked emails have really impacted their relationships with major stars and major people behind the camera,” said Andrew Wolenstein, “Variety,” Hollywood, California.
But controversy or not, it’s a premiere moviegoers weren’t missing out on.
“It’s freedom of speech, and this is America,” said Lamont.
If you didn’t catch the film in theaters but still want to see it, you can rent it online. It costs $6 for 48 hours.
North Korea denies it had anything to do with the hack on Sony Pictures.
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