West Mall 7 Theatre first to show “The Interview”

Controversy and curiosity come together for film's Sioux Falls debut

It’s a film that the FBI says prompted North Korea to launch a cyber-attack against Sony, and on Wednesday, it finally made its debut in Sioux Falls.

“The Interview” premiered at the West Mall 7 Theatre early Wednesday afternoon.
     
While big-name movie theaters in Sioux Falls aren’t showing the film, the West Mall 7 Theatre says the “The Interview” could be playing on its screens for several weeks.

Since Sony made the film available on December 23, Sioux Falls residents have been asking the West Mall 7 Theatre when they would be showing the movie.

“I’m very pumped up, excited. I thought it would never come to this town, but it finally did,” said Raymond Karimian.

There’s an air of excitement inside the West Mall 7 Theatre as movie-goers grab their popcorn and settle into to watch a certain movie make its Sioux Falls debut.

Andy Colter said, “It’s New Years. I figure I’d kick 2014 with a last hurrah and I’m seeing “The Interview.”

Since its Christmas Day premier, “The Interview” has brought controversy and curiosity across the globe, but that hasn’t stopped the West Mall 7 Theatre from bringing it to audiences.

“We’re a movie theater, that’s what we do is play movies. It was available to us and that’s why we’re playing it,” said Todd Frager, president and owner of West Mall Theatres Inc.

Frager says bringing “The Interview” to Sioux Falls hasn’t sparked any negative backlash yet, and that the community supports the theater’s decisions.  

Frager said, “We haven’t had any negative comments yet, not that I’m anticipating any, but that may happen. Some people may be cautious about playing the picture.”

But until then, people plan on seeing the movie for many different reasons.

Colter said he is seeing it for “mostly the comedy. I’d like to see how funny it actually is because I’ve seen a lot of comedies and I’d like to laugh.”

“I’m just here to show my support. That it’s just a movie, you know?” said Karimian.

Originally from Los Angeles, Karimian never thought “The Interview” would make it to Sioux Falls.

Karimian said, “I thought it would be much more bigger cities like L.A. or maybe New York, somewhere bigger.”

For now, the big screen at the West Mall 7 is where “The Interview” will call home.
 
“The Interview” is scheduled to play at the West Mall 7 Theatre until January 8, but depending on its popularity it could be longer.

Frager says about 300 people already saw the film before the seven o’clock showing on Wednesday night, which he expected to sell out. 

The theater plans to show five screenings of “The Interview” each day.

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