Bow Tie Cinemas on Wednesday became the second major theater chain to say it will not screen “The Interview,” one day after hackers behind the Sony cyberattack threatened 9/11-like terror strikes.
The chain cited safety concerns as its reason, one day after Carmike Cinemas said it would not be showing the Sony comedy movie. Bow Tie Cinemas is a four-generation family owned company which owns and operates 55 theaters and approximately 350 screens in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Colorado.
“We at Bow Tie Cinemas are saddened and angered by recent threats of terrorism in connection with the movie, ‘The Interview,’” said Bow Tie CEO Ben Moss.
“It is our mission to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and employees. Given that the source and credibility of these threats is unknown at the time of this announcement, we have decided after careful consideration not to open ‘The Interview’ on December 25, 2014 as originally planned. We hope that those responsible for this act are swiftly identified and brought to justice.”
The hacking group Guardians of Peace, which has claimed responsibility for last month’s massive cyberattack that paralyzed Sony and resulted in the theft of thousands of sensitive documents and emails, has demanded that the studio pull “The Interview.”
The comedy stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as U.S. journalists who are asked by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea last summer warned that the film’s release would be an “act of war that we will never tolerate,” and said that the United States will face “merciless” retaliation.
On Dec. 6, the North Korean government denied it was behind the Sony hacking, but called the cyberattack “a righteous deed” and said that it could be the work of its supporters.
Tuesday’s threat of violence and another earlier post from the hackers that spoke of a “Christmas present” brought concerns over public safety to the fore. While the Department of Homeland Security said that it had found no evidence of credible threat on Tuesday, Sony gave theater chains that had booked the movie the option of not running it.
Carmike is a Georgia-based chain with 276 theaters totaling 2,904 screens.