by John Stoehr
I got a message this morning that surprised me (just a little bit).
"South Carolina has banned the movie "W" from being shown in the metro area but will be shown in some podunk town....I am an educated woman from the Eastern establishment and have never heard of such nonsense. This needs to be talked about and I know the P and C hasn't had an idea since 1802. Please put a reporter on this and make this state join the Union. This is the worst kind of ignorance.....thanks. Please reply if you plan to cover this."
First, you should know this: We in the media get this kind of thing all the time.
When someone tells me that "South Carolina has banned the movie 'W' from being shown in the metro area," I'm always skeptical, but sometimes intrigued. Something has really gotten underneath this reader's skin — to the point that the reader really believes such hysteria.
In fact, Oliver Stone's W., starring Josh Brolin as Shrub, will open Friday at the following movie theaters:
Cinebarre and the Palmetto Grande in Mt. Pleasant
Azalea Square Stadium 16 in Summerville
Charles Towne Square 18 in North Charleston
Carmike Cinema on James Island
This information was easily found using Fandango.
As of right now, the only theaters not showing W. thus far, according to Fandango, are the Cinemark in Summerville and the Terrace Theatre on James Island.
Some are very concerned about a movie like W. being banned (whatever that means) in Charleston right before an election. Some suspected foul play (whatever that is), because the movie was not listed on local movie theater schedule on Monday.
In fact, local movie theaters typically don't know what they'll be showing the following weekend until Tuesday afternoon.
That's why it's been impossible for me, as the editor of the City Paper's movie section, to get movie times in print. I finish my sections on Mondays. The movie times come out Tuesdays.
In the case of W., it was intended to limited release, but the level of buzz has been such that wide release was called for. But that still takes place on a theater-by-theater basis.
This may look like a conspiracy (it is if you're looking for one) but this is in fact not unusual.