In the ever-changing saga of the Sony computer hack and the fate of the controversial movie "The Interview," it appears now that Sony is agreeing to authorize screenings of the film to select independent theaters around the U.S.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV in Atlanta report The Plaza Theatre announced via Twitter Tuesday it would be one of a few movie houses in the country to show the controversial film.
Actor Seth Rogen, one of the stars of "The Interview" tweeted Tuesday: "The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!"
Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema which has 20 locations around the country, tweeted: "Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory"
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton confirmed to CNN Tuesday afternoon "we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day."
Lynton did not specify the exact number of theaters showing the film.
The Dallas Morning News reported sources say Sony is also going to make the movie available to theaters at a reduced rental rate, as well as put it on a streaming service (not yet named) and video on demand by no later than Christmas.
Sony Pictures Entertainment initially pulled the satirical movie about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the movie company’s email accounts were hacked and embarrassing missives were made public. Theaters also said they would not show the movie because of hackers’ threats of violence against them and their patrons.
On Monday, the independent theater trade organization Art House Convergence (AHC) created a change.org petition to Sony Pictures’ Lynton and Amy Pascal, requesting that Sony let them screen The Interview in some form.
One of the loudest critics of the film's shelving — President Barack Obama — hailed Sony's reversal.
"The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film," said Obama spokesman Eric Schultz. "As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome."
The FBI has said North Korea was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer network last month, crippling the network and stealing almost 38 million files. The damaging and embarrassing stolen files have since shown up on file-sharing websites.
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