Prop. 8 protesters target theater in town
Opponents of the ban on same-sex marriage that voters in California passed Nov. 4 continue to call for a boycott of the Sundance Film Festival amid new rumors that the owner of a local four-plex rented during the festival helped fund the legislation.
Festival organizers have been fielding phone calls and responding to angry emails that call for Sundance to pull about 120 scheduled public screenings from the Holiday Village Cinemark theaters on Kearns Boulevard, according to Sundance spokeswoman Brooks Addicott.
A spokesman for Cinemark Theaters, which owns CineArts and Century Theaters, declined comment for this story.
Sundance offers about 650 screenings for films during the 10-day festival scheduled to begin in Park City Jan. 15. That means that nearly one in five screenings are held at the Holiday Village theaters, not including screens for the press and industry insiders.
The imbroglio comes after a blogger based in Washington, D.C., John Aravosis, reported that Cinemark Theater CEO Alan Stock contributed $9,999 to bankroll the campaign in support of the ban. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also reportedly bankrolled the "Yes on Prop. 8" campaign.
With seven weeks before opening night, when organizer will roll out the red carpet for the world premiere of the clay-animation film "Mary and Max," Sundance still plans to use all four screens at Holiday Village theaters as a hub for films, filmmakers and the media. Even with the addition of a new screen at Temple Har Shalom, Sundance is stretched to find places to show 125 feature-length films and several hundred shorts, Addicott said.
Sundance headquarters, located in Park City, has received 200 emails in the past two weeks and 23 in the last week. Of the emails that threaten to boycott the festival, only three come from people who have attended in the past. That doesn’t mean Addicott is taking them lightly. "As a nonprofit devoted to supporting artists, we’re sensitive to the larger issue at hand," she said. "It’s our hope [protesters] will embrace the festival for its diversity. We’re committed to creating a dialogue."
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