Sunday 18 March 2018

A Grey area ... cinema says it's 'too small' for 50 Shades

St Mary’s Parish Hall in Buncrana
St Mary’s Parish Hall in Buncrana
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades of Grey

Greg Harkin

It caused a sensation yesterday when a small local newspaper in north Donegal reported that raunchy movie '50 Shades of Grey' had been banned by the local cinema, run from a parish hall.

Christian groups hailed the 'decision' as a moral victory.

But the row which has rocked Buncrana was much ado about nothing, according to the voluntary group which runs the cinema from St Mary's Hall.

Indeed chairman Adam Rory Porter says the cinema couldn't show the 18-rated sex and bondage flick because distributors Universal said the cinema was too small.

"We never banned the movie. In fact, we had applied to show it but we were turned down," he said.

"We only show one film per day and we were told we'd have to show it four times a day and we couldn't do that."

A committee will meet next Wednesday to discuss if they should ask Universal again for the rights to show the film.

"We rarely get first releases but after all the publicity maybe we might get this one after all," said Mr Porter.

Earlier Christian campaigner Mary Doherty had insisted the movie had been banned and hailed the 'decision' as a victory - and not at all like something out of an episode of TV comedy 'Father Ted'.

Ms Doherty said she has now "fallen out" with the management committee of the cinema over the steamy movie starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

She runs a Christian group called 'Renew' in the town and her disapproval for all things to do with porn, divorce and abortion are well known in the county.

"I don't know why anyone finds it funny because the subject matter isn't funny," she told the Irish Independent.

"I'm very upset about the fall-out though because the hall committee is very unhappy with all the publicity it is generating.

"This is very simple for me; the movie industry is pushing the boundaries all the time and they've pushed them again to the point where this is now a porn movie becoming mainstream.

"St Mary's is a Church hall. It may be leased out but it is still Church property and the idea that this sort of filth would be shown anywhere, never mind on sacred Church property, horrifies me and horrifies good people in Buncrana. Someone has to speak up about this filth, for that is what it is.

"I just hope there isn't a U-turn now."

Parish priest Fr Francis Bradley said any decision on the film rested with the cinema management.

"I am neither a promoter of, nor a protagonist against, any movie but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone," he said.

Irish Independent

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