Fans sing God Bless America before first screening of ‘The Interview’


AUSTIN (KXAN) – Many people spent part of their Christmas at the Alamo Drafthouse to see “The Interview.” Alamo CEO Tim League decided to show the movie after being given the green light from Sony just two days ago. Today’s shows sold out within minutes. KXAN was there as movie goers showed their support.

It began with a special message from actor James Franco.

In a pre-recorded message, Franco addresses fans saying, “Turn off your cell phone. I don’t want to see any lit screen, texting, or checking instagram. What gets better than this? It’s the Alamo.”

And as excited fans took their seats for the first screening of “The Interview,” Alamo CEO Tim League made a special appearance…bringing the crowd together in a very special kind of way, singing “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free…”

Curtiss Pruett and his wife were some of the first people to show up. Curtiss says, “We just don’t like being told we can’t see what we want to see so it’s a little statement we’re making.”

A statement that included waving American flags employees handed out before the show started.

Another moviegoer, Kristie Grace says, “I think it’s an excellent decision because no one else wanted to pick it up. We’re in Austin, in the United States. We have freedom of speech and the rights to watch what we want too.”

An officer with APD provided the theatre with extra security. League says he wasn’t taking any chances.

He says, “We worked with Austin PD to do a survey of the building and we had some security training for our staff.”

And back in the theatre, strangers came together to support both the movie and the industry chanting, “USA…USA…USA…”

While tickets were sold out for today’s showings, tickets are available for showings of “The Interview.” The Alamo Drafthouse will be showing the movie through New Year’s.

This may be the first time a movie has caused diplomatic tensions but North Korea has been the subject of other movies in recent years. Last year, Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman starred in “Olympus Has Fallen” which showed North Korean-led guerrillas taking over the White House and a Secret Service’s attempts to get them out.

In 2012, Hollywood remade the movie “Red Dawn” with North Koreans invading the mainland United States. Originally filmmakers were set on using the Chinese as the villain. However, after shooting the movie, they decided to change the aggressors to North Korea so the Chinese could still see the movie.

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