Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
Christmas at the movies. It's an innocuous enough notion – unless that movie is The Interview, and it's a comedy-turned-international fiasco that barely skidded into the cineplex in time for the holidays.
Seth Rogen began the festivities by surprising ticket-holders at a 12:30am sold-out showing of The Interview Christmas Day at Cinefamily's Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles. "If it wasn't for theaters like this and people like you guys, this literally would not be (explicit) happening right now," he told fans.
Late Christmas morning at the Sundance Cinemas in West Hollywood, an 11:45 a.m showing was nearly full of theater-goers. Outside the theater, temperatures were a crisp 65 degrees, and it was quiet - no crowds, and no added security in sight.
Inside the theater, the Klariches, a family of three, said they had already purchased The Interview online on Christmas Eve – and still bought tickets to see it.
They came to the theater "just to be with family," said their son Sean, 26. "It's more communal. To make an event out of it." Plus, he added, "we always go to the movies on Christmas!"
The family said they planned on seeing The Interview long before the media hoopla began. "We were going to see it before all this started, because I saw the preview and thought it sounded really funny," said Monique Klarich. "I see it as a First Amendment act," added her husband, Ivan.
Carol Atkinson, a ticket-holder in her fifties from Marina Del Rey, "was going through my email and my Twitter this morning," and saw The Interview was playing locally. "I thought well, why not?"