The film is set for a private screening at the Landmark Grand 10 on July 15, despite the public screening being pulled by Landmark. (IMDB)

Controversial anti-abortion movie to be screened in private Okanagan showings

‘I’ve never seen a movie quite like this,’ Landmark CEO said

A controversial film is still coming to Kelowna despite being pulled by Landmark Grand 10.

The Kelowna Right to Life Society is hosting its own private showings of Unplanned, the true story of a Planned Parenthood clinic director who becomes an anti-abortion activist, in a rented out theatre—at the Landmark Grand 10.

“Initially it was going to show for one week at the Grand 10. They pulled that,” said Marlon Bartram, executive director at the Kelowna Right to Life Society. “[It’s a] private showing, but I can sell to anybody in town.”

Two private showings are set for the film, one in Kelowna at the Grand 10 on July 15 (tickets on sale July 9 at 6 p.m.), and an already sold-out showing in West Kelowna at the Xtreme 8 on July 17.

READ MORE: Response from community has been ‘overwhelming’ to Taco Time petition

READ MORE: Truck attempts swim at Kelowna boat launch, sinks

The film is garnering a lot of attention from both pro-life and pro-choice groups, resulting in cancellations of the movie across the country.

Cineplex showing the movie in 14 of its 164 theatres and Landmark is showing it in seven.

Salmon Arm’s Salmar Theatre pulled its five-day run of the film after allegedly receiving threats to its staff.

“We have a track record of showing things from a variety of points of view… we try not to preclude things because of whatever personal opinions may exist on our board or something like that,” explained Salmar Community Association board member Chris Papworth. “What’s different here… certainly, in the past, there hasn’t been an effort to dox employees or, specifically, the general manager, by releasing their personal information on social media and then encouraging people to go after them as the one responsible for some heinous act.

“We just aren’t prepared for those levels of hostility towards our general manager.”

READ MORE: Threats allegedly made against Salmar Theatre’s staff prompt cancellation of anti-abortion film

READ MORE: Cineplex sticks by decision to screen anti-abortion film ‘Unplanned’

Landmark Cinemas Canada had initially planned on showing the movie for a five-day run in 10 of its theatres across the country but scaled back to just seven.

“There’s a lot of vocal voices on this issue,” said Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas Canada. “We certainly heard from many of those and are having conversations with some. We’re trying to support people who are really passionate about the content and want to see the movie—and through these private rentals, they can do that.

Walker admits that these private screenings are a little different than the usual process in which an organized group that commits to buying a certain amount of tickets for a private screening to just that group.

“Typically, those tickets would not be resold. In this particular venue, we’re not going to stop them from selling the tickets to the audience they’re connected with who want to see the film. In this case, the Right to Life Society in Kelowna is promoting those showtimes for people who want to come to see the movie. The public will, in this case, certainly be aware that the show is going on.

“I’ve been working in the movie industry for eight years, and I’ve never seen a movie quite like this.”

READ MORE: Anti-abortion film coming to North Okanagan

Walker added that he hopes patrons of the theatre can leave the politics out of what should be just another night out to the movies; not a place for a heated argument.

“My hope is that as a public we realize its a theatre and this issue won’t be debated among movie-goers,” Walker said. “For the one screen that’s playing [Unplanned], which people chose to come to see and enjoy their movie experience, there are nine other auditoriums that are just families going to see Spiderman. We’re not trying to be a venue for political debate.”


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Summerland home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Oliver cherry farm allowed to continue operating following positive COVID-19 cases

Interior Health not concerned about health risk to individuals consuming products from farm

Morning Start: Big Bertha is the oldest cow to ever live

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Rare comet NEOWISE and aurora lights captured in Okanagan

The image was captured over Big Horn Lake near Kelowna with a Pixel 4XL android phone

‘We know people are going to come to Kelowna’: Mayor addresses COVID-19 cluster

The mayor said people need to continue following the advice of the medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry

City of Kelowna to hold funds for 2023 Memorial Cup bid

$135,000 of the city’s initial $225,000 commitment to the tournament will be held for a future bid

Vernon Search and Rescue aids injured Okanagan Rail Trail cyclist

Group’s Utility Terrain Vehicle proving to be a valuable asset on the popular trail

Hitchhiker with metal pipe prompts RCMP to close of Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police respond to report of man who pointed what was believed to be a rifle at passing driver

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

Most Read