Hollywood producers of the blockbuster "Titanic" took quick umbrage at an American Fork movie house for editing the Academy Award-winning film.
And they didn't waste time closing the curtain on the theater's show.Towne Cinema's answering machine offered a brief explanation: "As of Monday at 4 o'clock, `Titanic' has been pulled by Paramount."
To attract a family crowd, the Utah County independent theater last week edited nude and sexually charged scenes from the PG-13 box-office smash.
Owner Carol Allred said the showings were successful, offering an alternative to parents who were leery of allowing their children to see steamy and skin-filled scenes.
Competing against a new cineplex in the Utah County town, Towne Cinema's showings of "Titanic" were some of the best crowds she's had this year.
But after news spread from a Friday Deseret News story about the edited version, Paramount officials called the Allreds and yanked the film.
"We had a lot of disappointed kids," Allred said Tuesday morning.
Many families had driven from Salt Lake City on Monday to see the film without Kate Winslet's nude pose for heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, she said.
A back-seat love scene between Winslet's character and DiCaprio's character also was cut.
Allred said last week her booking agent assured her the studio would not care if theaters cut a few parts from the movies if the content is questionable.
Towne Cinema edited another movie earlier this year. Actress Helen Hunt's brief nude scene in "As Good As It Gets" was eliminated.
"I feel that if the film company causes a big scene I'd say that a lot of people came to see the movie that wouldn't have," Allred said last week. "So, actually, they've gotten a lot more exposure."
On Tuesday, Allred was disappointed the studio would not work with her theater. Paramount's representatives did not care that Towne Cinema's edited version was drawing large crowds, she said.
It's not hard to believe the cooled-down flick would be popular in conservative Utah County with its large number of LDS Church members.
Church leaders have issued statements against R-rated films, denouncing the use of profanity, nudity and violent scenes on the silver screen.
Towne Cinema's proprietors are convinced there are many people clamoring for wholesome entertainment. Allred said she "got all kinds of support" from people who came to see the edited version of the three-hour-plus "Titanic."
She wants to provide good, value-based films for patrons of her theater. "The problem is," she sighed, "there aren't many films out there."
Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is now playing at Towne Cinema.