- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The New York premiere of the movie at the heart of the Sony hacking uproar has been cancelled while at least two cinema chains have pulled the film after hackers threatened a Christmas terrorist attack on theaters showing the comedy.

Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema cancelled its plans for a Thursday showing in New York of “The Interview,” according to the industry newspaper Variety. The comedy depicting two bumbling journalists hired by the CIA to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong-un premiered last week in Los Angeles and has been scheduled for wide release Dec. 25.

Georgia-based Carmike Cinemas, the fourth-largest chain in the country, informed multiple media outlets late Tuesday that its theaters will not show “The Interview,” while New York-based Bow Tie Cinemas confirmed Wednesday that it has cancelled plans to play the film, Variety reported.

Bow Tie CEO Ben Moss told Variety that the company was making the decision in “an abundance of caution,” adding that, “The safety and comfort of our patrons is foremost in our minds.” Bow Tie bills itself as the eighth-largest chain in the nation.

Carmike’s decision comes after Sony Pictures Entertainment officials reportedly allowed theater owners the option of pulling the film based on the latest threat purportedly from the same hackers who had previously released thousands of private documents and emails from Sony executives.

“We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ [will] be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” says the message from the Guardians of Peace. “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001.”

The Department of Homeland Security released a statement Tuesday casting doubt on the possibility of a terrorist attack at theaters that opt to show “The Interview.”

“We are still analyzing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States,” said DHS in a statement. “As always, DHS will continue to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.”

The movie’s stars, James Franco and Seth Rogen, have already cancelled public appearances to promote the movie, including spots on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Variety reported.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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