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.

Just Posted

Secwepemc knowledge-keeper’s contributions recognized by Province of B.C.

Louis Thomas one of 18 people to receive B.C.’s Medal of Good Citizenship

Salmar manager draws curtain on career with Salmon Arm’s independent movie theatres

After 22 years, Daila Duford announces departure at association’s AGM

VIDEO: Salmon Arm elementary students step up for Canadian Music Class Challenge

Bastion and Hillcrest elementary schools submit videos, winners announced Dec. 17

Workshops, networking events designed for Shuswap women entrepreneurs on the way

Tsuts’weye project holds successful roundtables where valuable information gathered

‘She was awesome’: Malakwa baker leaves U.S. holiday show

‘There are Christmas miracles, look at me’

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Interior Health finds Penticton’s fatal overdose rate ‘alarming’

The rate has been consistenly increasing since 2015

BREAKING: Cat and dog die in house fire in Rutland

The house is located 195 Valleyview Road in Rutland

WATCH: Diehard Vernon Winter Carnival goers line up for tickets

Susan O’Brien was the first in line at 6:45 a.m. Friday

B.C. Transit scores 28 used fareboxes on eBay, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Year in jail for ex-Vernon Judo coach for child porn

Bryan McLachlan pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

RCMP searching for missing Kamloops woman

Hayley Haines was last seen Dec. 3

Most Read