It turns out some Texans will have a chance to see the controversial Seth Rogan comedy The Interview after all.
Sony had initially pulled the film after threats against theaters that were planning to run it.
But on Tuesday, the independent theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced it will show the movie on Christmas Day across Texas and in other states.
We paid a visit to one of the chain’s locations in northwest Houston.
Regional Program Director Robert Saucedo described the news as a victory for free speech, but still a surprising one.
“I certainly didn’t expect this to happen so quickly,” he said, “but we have a long history of supporting suppressed cinema, and arthouse and independent cinemas have in general a long history of supporting creative freedom.”
Saucedo says the company has a history of dealing with controversial movies, but that showing this one’s not meant to be a political statement, and that he’s simply happy the movie’s finally getting out there.
“I’m really glad there’s some people stepping up,” said nearby resident Hyborea Priest.
Priest was glad to hear the movie would be shown after all, saying he felt like people “backed down” after the alleged North Korea hack and everything that’s followed since.
Connor Magee, a restaurant manager at the nearby Mia Bella Trattoria, felt the same way.
“I think it’s awfully silly to decide that we as a nation are gonna clamp down on people’s freedom of speech because of a threat from a country that as I see it, doesn’t pose any real threat,” he said.
Magee said he doesn’t expect the the movie being shown here will have any effect on business – he’s just not worried about any threats – but he’s also simply a fan.
“I love Seth Rogan and Franco, funny guys,” he said.
The Christmas screenings in Houston are already sold out, but the film’s screening at other locations across Texas through the weekend, and Drafthouse plans to add more dates in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday, Sony Pictures announced the movie will also be available online.
In Houston, Robert Saucedo says the company’s “consulting with law enforcement” about how to handle any possible threats, though he wouldn’t go into details.
U.S. officials have said the threats that caused the film to be cancelled in the first place weren’t credible.