'The Interview' premieres in the Central Valley

AVENAL, Calif. (KFSN) -- A nearly sold-out theater watched the first showing of "The Interview" in one of the few theaters screening the film on Christmas Day.

The Avenal Theater has seen a spike of interest from people across California asking for show times and ticket prices to see the film. The theater is the only theater in six counties offering the film. Two theaters in Bakersfield are also carrying it.

Sony pulled the comedy after being hacked earlier this month followed by threats of violence for theaters showing the film. Then this week Sony reached a deal with several independent theaters to continue the premiere.

The controversy has just increased the interest of movie-goers.

"I want to see to what exactly what was the deal here," said Evie Rowell, who drove from Selma to see the movie.

The Seth Rogen and James Franco film features a satirical plot to kill North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. In early December, Sony was hacked and threats were sent to theaters getting ready to show "The Interview" on Christmas. The FBI says the attack came from North Korea.

Theaters around the country stepped up security as a precaution. Scott Netherton with Avenal Theater says they aren't too concerned with the threats and are happy to show the film.

"I'm here for the people and they're the ones we answer to and they want to see it so we're going to play it," Netherton said.

The Avenal Theater welcomes the extra attention and visitors "The Interview" is bringing. The theater is on the verge of being closed because of low turnout to the theater. Netherton hopes the new interest helps bring more attention and possible changes the theater's future.

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