Moviegoers react to local screenings of ‘The Interview’

WASHINGTON — Hackers promised 911 style violence. And reviewers weren’t delivering raves. But for the people who showed up to the early viewing of ‘The Interview’ at a Brandywine movie theater on Christmas Day, none of that mattered.

“We saw the previews a couple of months ago and were looking forward to seeing it ever since then,” said Debbie Wood, who added she wasn’t about to let anyone tell her what she could or couldn’t see at a movie theater.

“Because we live in the United States of America!”

Leni Arons also said if the controversy was stirred up to keep her away, it did just the opposite. “The hype definitely pushed me to see it” and she said, it was important to support the theaters that went ahead to show it despite all the threats coming from the group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace.”

Another filmgoer who identified himself only as Robert said he wanted to see the movie in defiance of the threats made by the hackers.

“You wanted to be sort of patriotic given the threats and all of that.”

On top of that, he said the movie was better than he expected and “quite good actually.”

Debbie Wood, who saw the movie with her husband, declared it “hilarious” while her husband Kevin agreed.

“We were rolling, tears coming out of our eyes at some points,” he said, smiling.

Another moviegoer, who didn’t want to give her name, said she too was moved to see the film and resented the idea of being told what she could or could not watch, despite not being a Seth Rogen fan.

“It was ridiculous and stupid and everything you’d expect a film of that nature to be. Having said that, there were some hilariously funny parts,” she said.

Frank Hendley, a Korean War veteran who proudly wears a jacket with an embroidered emblem noting his service, came to the Xscape theaters to see a different movie about a veteran from another war, “Unbroken.”  But Hendley was heartened to see that people came out to support a movie despite threats.

“Freedom is not free. You have to fight for the freedom, if you want to keep it. Stand up for what you believe.”

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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