Owners of an American Fork theater that drew fire from Hollywood executives and applause from sold-out Utah crowds for showing an edited version of "Titanic" are working hard to patch relationships with studios and film distributors.
John and Carol Allred want to light up both of the Main Street movie house's screens with high-quality films for Utah County families. But it would be difficult to continue operating if Towne Cinemas is blacklisted by studio officials, said the couple, who have run the theater for two years.John Allred said he is now talking with representatives from Paramount, Columbia and Warner Brothers, giving assurances the theater won't edit films for content.
Paramount and Columbia, subsidiaries of media powerhouses Viacom and Sony, have voiced a hesitation to distribute movies to Towne Cinemas, limiting the number of PG-13, PG and G-rated movies the Allreds like to offer.
Monday was the last day Towne Cinemas could show Columbia's "Les Miserables," which was a last-minute replacement for "Titanic" after it was yanked by Paramount. The animated children's movie "Quest For Camelot" is now showing on one screen.
Columbia's wrath was incurred when studio heads found out Town Cinemas earlier this year snipped a quick nude scene in the comedy, "As Good As It Gets."
Carol Allred said no one, including her booking agent, gave her tacit approval to edit nude and implied-sex scenes from the smash hit "Titanic."
Brigham Young University officials announced Friday - amidst Towne Cinema's "Titanic" disaster - that the Varsity Theater would discontinue the practice of editing films for campus screenings.
Carol Allred said she asked because she wanted to show a cut version the first week of a two-week run. Positive feedback and increased ticket sales convinced her to show the edited version for another week.
"At the time we did it, we had no idea it would be wrong," she said.
Paramount officials pulled the movie in the second week after word of the selective edit spread to California.