If you want to see “The Interview” on a big screen this week in the central San Joaquin Valley, head to Kings County.
Avenal Theater’s website was updated Wednesday to reflect four showtimes daily Christmas Day through Sunday. The Avenal Theater has a distinctive 1935 art-deco exterior on Kings Street in downtown Avenal, but it’s new inside, rebuilt a few years ago after a 2003 fire gutted much of the block.
The listings came out Christmas Eve, the day after Sony and independent theaters agreed to release it in over 300 venues on Christmas.
The Met Cinema in Oakhurst will show “The Interview” starting Jan. 2. Owners of the theater wanted to open “The Interview” on Christmas Day but had already committed to showing another Sony Entertainment film, “Annie,” and could not make a change until the first week in January.
If you don’t want to wait, Sony Entertainment on Christmas Eve released the movie on a variety of online platforms. The company will offer the movie for rental via YouTube Movies, Xbox Videos, Google Play and SeeTheInterview.com. It is $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own an HD copy.
The movie also is showing at Maya Cinemas’ Bakersfield 16, 1000 California Ave. Maya Cinemas is the company behind the Heritage 16 theater that will be part of the Campus Pointe project. Had construction of the new theater complex next to Fresno State gone as planned, Fresno would be getting a screening of “The Interview” on Christmas Day.
Originally planned for a November opening, the new 70,000-square-foot theater — which includes 16 screens, one of which is 72 feet wide — is now slated to open in February.
“We wanted to show the movie from Day 1,” Frank Haffar, Maya Cinema president, said. “It was a hard decision to show it and it was not a hard decision to show it.”
Many major theater chains — including the Regal Entertainment Group, which owns theaters in Fresno, Madera, Visalia, Hanford and the Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, which owns the Clovis theater — canceled screenings of the movie after terrorist type threats from hackers.
After the theater chains began to cancel screenings, Sony decided not to release the movie. The studio came under fire for giving in to the terrorist threats and reversed the decision. It’s mainly small theater chains that will now show the movie.
“The Interview” is a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. They play the makers of a TV celebrity interview show who are given the chance to interview North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. The pair are recruited to turn the interview into an assassination.
Haffar would not discuss whether or not he has added security to the company’s theaters showing the movie.