Saying people should have the option to see the movie if they choose to, The Senator Theatre announced it will begin screening Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion of the Christ" on Feb. 25.
Thomas Kiefaber, owner of The Senator, said in a statement that the theater has received feedback from people who support their decision to show the movie and from those who do not want the movie shown. "Passion," which depicts the final days of Christ's life, has drawn criticism from those who say it is anti-Semitic.
"We feel strongly that apart from its innate controversial aspects, it is a film that the general public should have the option to optimally experience in a respectful environment at The Senator Theatre if they choose to do so and form their own opinion," Kiefaber said.
The theater also announced opportunities for religious groups who wish to view the movie prior to its release. Groups of 200 to 800 can see the film on Feb. 23 at approximately 2 p.m. and Feb. 24 at approximately 7:30 p.m. Groups can contact the theater at 410-435-1174 or by email at email@example.com. Groups must be at least 200 people and the standard $8 per person admission applies.
"We consider this upcoming film engagement a focal point to facilitate lively, beneficial discussion and greater communication among all the various faiths and communities in our region," Kiefaber said.
Originally published February 19, 2004, 1:44 PM EST