Saturday, March 19, 2005

Imax Theatres Beware

The Religious right has created a climate of fear... for Imax theaters.

The fight over evolution has reached the big, big screen. Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.

The number of theaters rejecting such films is small, people in the industry say-perhaps a dozen or fewer, most in the South. But becausevonly a few dozen Imax theaters routinely show science documentaries, thevdecisions of a few can have a big impact on a film's bottom line - or avproducer's decision to make a documentary in the first place.

People who follow trends at commercial and institutional Imax theaters say that in recent years, religious controversy has adversely affected the distribution of a number of films, including "Cosmic Voyage," which depicts the universe in dimensions running from the scale of subatomic particles to clusters of galaxies; "Galápagos," about the islands where Darwin theorized about evolution; and "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," an underwater epic about the bizarre creatures that flourish in the hot, sulfurous emanations from vents in the ocean floor.

I wonder what else they will attack? We already have problems with textbooks in high schools and college... where will they attack next? Science stores in malls? Creeks that show evolutionary sediment? Just imagine the protests outside creeks near you... groups of Bible-thumpers screaming "Cover it up! Cover it up!"

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