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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Alabama Drive-In Cancells Beauty And The Beast Over Gay Character (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Alabama Drive-In Cancells Beauty And The Beast Over Gay Character
Donald Brown
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 120
From: Lincoln, DE
Registered: Sep 2009


 - posted 03-03-2017 09:30 PM      Profile for Donald Brown   Email Donald Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
While the TMZ story on this subject is succinct and brief, as a theatre operator, if I were to deride a studio's product in a similar manner, I fully expect that the licensing agreement with the respective studio would be revoked. Disney should pull the license from this operator permanently.
http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/03/beauty-and-the-beast-alabama-theater-gay-character/

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Kevin Fairchild
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From: Kennewick, WA, USA
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 - posted 03-03-2017 11:01 PM      Profile for Kevin Fairchild   Email Kevin Fairchild   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hope the exhibitor actually attended the trade screening before making this decision.

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Dennis Benjamin
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From: Denton, MD
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 - posted 03-05-2017 03:48 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Now that I have read up on this subject:

After seeing the original, animated, film of "Beauty and the Beast" - I theorized that the character in question (LeFou) was gay anyway. So, them embelishing on it (or adding to it) in the live action version doesn't bother me any.

This is a big deal out of nothing really.

Any publicity is good publicity. It will still be the highest March opening film of all time. I'm fine with that.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-05-2017 04:07 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I avoided posting the story originally because is gets a little to close to religion and politics. But now that it's here...

They've got a business model that will bankrupt them by August, even in Alabama. They want to book movies based on their version of Christianity? Fine. But they aren't going to find enough to fill up the screen.
Christian movies do very well here in Alabama --- when the churches bring them in by the busload. Otherwise, most of them have no legs. Even so, there just aren't that many of them.
Everything else will, if they choose to look closely, offend some version of their doctrine (I had someone complain about My Big Fat Greek Wedding because the two main characters were in bed together and not married. He said it was "filth doubled over.")
Those of you old enough to remember Jerry Lewis Cinemas in the 1970's, whose business model was to only run G rated movies (and there were much more of them then) are old enough to know they went belly up (for lots of reasons).
Soon to be another closed drive in.

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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 03-05-2017 07:50 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's not just gays that he wants to keep off his screen:

quote: Article linked by Donald
He says he only wants to show "wholesome movies" without sex, nudity, homosexuality or foul language.
That rules out probably around 95% of Hollywood's output since about 1965 (and I guess he passed on one Disney-financed release - Pulp Fiction - which is saturated with all four, with added drugs and glorifying violent crime, just to really trigger the guy).

That having been said, I have felt that Disney stuff over the last 2-3 years has become politicized to the point of crossing the line for movies aimed at an audience of young children: feminism in Cinderella, ecological issues in Zootopia, and now homosexuality in this movie.

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 03-05-2017 08:27 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking at their Facebook page, I can see several movies in the last 6 months that failed to meet the stated guidelines - specifically Sausage Party, Jack Reacher 2, and Girl on the Train.

Henagar Drive-in Facebook

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 03-05-2017 08:54 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of course, the last six months don't count since they just took over in December (and they said the movies were booked four months out).
We'll see what they do for the next few months.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 03-05-2017 09:35 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I think that drive-in will be forced to change its business model in very short order. Under the drive-in's new content criteria I don't think they would even show The Shack. It is a religious movie, but it is rated PG-13 (adult themes, some subject matter could be upsetting to kids). The movie also has "Papa" (a character's nickname for God) played by Octavia Spencer (a black woman) and Graham Greene (a Native Canadian).

I don't mind a theater operator wanting to show more in the way of family friendly content. On the other hand, Hollywood movies these days are very tame compared to the adult oriented content one can easily find on cable TV, streaming services and the Internet.

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 03-05-2017 10:06 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin McCaffery
Of course, the last six months don't count since they just took over in December
Ok, I didn't see that in the few items I read about this. Regardless, I think this is going to strongly come back and bite them in the ass. There simply are not enough films each year which fit the criteria of "without sex, nudity, homosexuality or foul language".

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 03-05-2017 10:42 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaaand with 3500 comments (and counting) on their announcement, their Facebook page is gone. Maybe it just got overwhelmed.

I read a couple of dozen comments....99% of them were condemning them for their decision.

A couple notes:

They have "A Dog's Purpose" listed as PG-13 when it's actually PG.

And they advertise a $200 "party package" where you can bring a private group in and view one of the movies they have showing, or a "DVD that you provide," which is clearly illegal. Somebody should tell them that they're violating their own principles.

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Manny Montes
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From: United States
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 - posted 03-06-2017 12:09 AM      Profile for Manny Montes   Email Manny Montes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd love to say they're going to be out of business due to their stance, but then I look at their website and realize they're going to be out of business soon just because of awful management either way. Their website auto-plays music like its a 90's site and the font is comic sans. It's hard enough to run a drive-in, now cut off half the content and good luck with that. This week is a dogs purpose and the eagle huntress, the only thing for march they're showing as "coming soon" is the boss baby, looking at march's film slate without Beauty & The Beast, I don't even know why they'd open. Since they don't want to show movies with violence, nudity, etc. I can't really see them showing most of the march slate...
It's sad to see a business (especially a drive in)fail due to stupid ownership. Hopefully they don't screw up too much and a decent operator can move in and restore the drive in

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James Wyrembelski
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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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 - posted 03-06-2017 12:29 AM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I really don't know why this story got any traction. ONE theater decides to not show it due to this and its become national news.

I wont chastise anyone for making a decision like this based on their morals. Their business, their decision. However, as a business decision, I don't think that was a wise one. People will vote with their dollars and I doubt it will get many votes. Good luck to them trying to run on that kind of platform even if it will more than likely be a short one.

Our single screen had a somewhat similar platform during the previous owners operation. Family and (some) Christian movies were the only thing played about 99% of the time. After a while it had a reputation for "only playing G movies" and "cartoons" to the locals and people stopped even paying attention to what was playing years ago. He began to loosen a bit on that towards the end, but it was too late at that point. No variety, no business. (It began to fail for other reasons, but this definitely didn't help.)

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Frank Cox
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 - posted 03-06-2017 01:05 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: James Wyrembelski
national news
International news. There's an article on the CBC website about it, too.

Alabama drive-in bans Beauty and the Beast for gay character

quote:
An Alabama drive-in theatre won't show a new re-telling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast because one of its characters is portrayed as homosexual.

A Facebook post for the Henagar Drive-In Theatre said its operators are "first and foremost Christians" and "will not compromise on what the Bible teaches." They said they will show family-oriented films so customers can "watch wholesome movies."

The post, which went up Thursday, has since been taken down.

It also said the owners were taking a stand and making a choice not to show the film, which includes manservant Le Fou, who plays the sidekick to the story's villain Gaston and, according to director Bill Condon, "is confused about his sexuality."

Theatre operators did not immediately respond to emails or phone messages to confirm the Facebook posting.

The Disney film had its world premiere in Los Angeles earlier this week and will be released March 17.


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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 03-06-2017 01:24 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: James Wyrembelski
I wont chastise anyone for making a decision like this based on their morals. Their business, their decision.
I had a discussion about this earlier today before I had read up on their reasoning. When operating a business like a movie theatre, I have a hard time with this argument. The purpose of having a business is to satisfy customers and make money. Making morality based decisions on what you provide you customers is a recipe for failure, if it means you will not provide a significant portion of the content your potent customers want. The same would apply to book stores and music stores (to the extent either exists today).

My company is independently owned, and we frequently play movies which run contrary to our own views. But as a business we are capitalists first. This doesn't mean we don't pass on certain movies as a business decision, but the decision is usually based on what will put butte in the seats.

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James Wyrembelski
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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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 - posted 03-06-2017 02:25 AM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Exactly. Market gets what the market wants. I'm not necessarily arguing for or against the decision, merely saying they have every right to run the theater as they see fit and not exactly sure why this is going as big as it is. It's a private business.

If that story had not been published, nobody would have noticed. The drive in would have merely lost out on potential good business (and most likely future business based on the way they are programming). The market will decide their fate on it's own and that's how the system stays healthy. If that had been a local theater here and I had read that I'd merely think "oh, guess they don't want my money" and be on my merry way to the competition.

I guess I just feel that this leaves people open to personal attack and essentially trying to force them to go against principle in a very public manner. Using dollars against them I feel is more effective. If that doesn't work, then someone else scoops it up and hopefully caters more to future customers. However, making a Facebook post explaining WHY you decided to pull it was a huge mistake in my opinion.

It's a tough thing to think about, really.

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