The Interview movie deal being offered by Merrill Jarvis III, co-owner of several Vermont theaters, couldn’t be more fitting.
To capitalize on the events surrounding the controversial comedy and get people to become more aware of their rights, he is offering a free popcorn to anyone who attends the Christmas day showing at his Palace 9 theater in South Burlington.
The only catch: to get it, they’ll have to bring in a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
“We need to understand our rights. I’m proud to be an American on the front line against terrorism,” Jarvis said in comments to Seven Days.
Part of Jarvis’ “arsenal” against the terrorist threats surrounding the film include hiring extra security and forbidding backpacks into the theater.
Last week, Sony Pictures Entertainment canceled the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy after getting hit with a costly cyber attack and a threat of actual harm “reminiscent to 9/11” for any theater owner or audience member who took part in screening the film.
Sony has been criticized by many in Hollywood as well as President Obama, who claimed they were “making a mistake” in canceling the release. Sony insisted that it had no choice after several major theater chains pulled out of showing the film based on safety concerns.
However, this week Sony backtracked and decided that they would allow select theaters to show the film. Jarvis’ The Interview movie deal is sure to be one of many “messages” the American people send to the Guardians of Peace (GoP) hackers said to be from North Korea.
The film centers on an assassination attempt of North Korea’s real-life leader, Kim Jong-Un. While the dictator and his regime have come out strongly against the film, they have not taken credit for the Sony hack.
In fact, there is significant evidence that the hack isn’t from North Korea at all in spite of the FBI’s belief otherwise. Nevertheless, that has not stopped someone from launching a counterattack against Pyongyang’s limited Internet access. For the last two days, the country’s leaders have been almost completely unable to access the Internet.
While it’s not clear who is behind the counterattack, it is clear that Americans aren’t ready to stand for threats to freedom of speech, whether the initial terrorist threat emanated from North Korea or the U.S.
Jarvis’ decision to show the film at Palace 9, and any other theater owners who follow suit with something similar to The Interview movie deal, will be an in-your-face response to threats against freedom.
What about you, readers? Any theaters in your area showing the film and offering similar deals to what Jarvis is offering? If so, share in our comments section.