Officials say 1,000 civilians take cover in theater as Russia targets it

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia, Ukraine war photos: Rescuers pull Mariupol theater survivors from rubble as Kremlin forces wreak havoc
  • The airstrikes from Wednesday night had left a large section of the grand, 3-three story theater building in the center of Mariupol
  • Inside, hundreds of men, women and children — up to 1,000 according to some officials — had taken shelter in the basement, seeking safety amid Russia’s strangulating 3-week siege of the strategic southern port city.
  • 726 people had been killed, including 674 adults and 52 children, United Nations says
  • Meanwhile, 1,174 people were injured, including 63 kids, the office said.

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U.S. judge agrees to end decades-old movie theater rules

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday granted the U.S. government’s request to immediately end the Paramount Decrees, a set of antitrust rules from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s that ended Hollywood’s monopoly on producing, distributing and exhibiting movies.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan said the Department of Justice “offered a reasonable and persuasive explanation” for why terminating the consent decrees would “serve the public interest in free and unfettered competition.”

Last November, the Justice Department moved to end the decrees enacted after the Supreme Court in 1948 said Hollywood’s biggest studios had illegally monopolized the movie distribution and theater industries.

New rules made it illegal for studios to unreasonably limit how many theaters could show movies in specific geographic areas.

They also banned “block booking,” which forced theaters to show bad movies as well as blockbusters as part of a package, and “circuit dealing,” the mass licensing of movies to theaters under common ownership rather than theater-by-theater.

The Justice Department said the decrees were no longer needed after multiplexes, broadcast and cable TV, DVDs and the internet changed how people watch movies, and because studios no longer dominated movie theater ownership. It also said the risk of future violations was low.

Three chains–AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal–control about half of the 41,000 U.S. movie screens.

Torres’ order includes a two-year “sunset” provision for ending the block booking and circuit dealing bans, to minimize market disruption.

Critics of the termination said it could threaten the survival of smaller theater owners.

The National Association of Theater Owners, whose members have about 35,000 screens, supported retaining the block booking ban, while the Independent Cinema Alliance said the termination could reduce its members’ competitiveness and movie diversity,

Neither group was immediately available to comment.

The Justice Department has in recent months moved to end dozens of consent decrees it considers obsolete.

The cases are U.S. v. Paramount Pictures Inc and U.S. v. Loew’s Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-mc-00544.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

Children Go To See Spongebob; Get Fifty Shades Of Grey

A drive-in theater in California is under fire from parents after their children were able to see the extremely sexually explicit film “Fifty Shades Of Grey” when they came to see the family-friendly Spongebob movie.

Deborah Powell told KTVU-TV that she had brought a large group of children to the West Wind Solano Drive-In to see “Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water.”  However, from where they had to park to watch the film, they could see the heavy-R Fifty Shades.

“[On the screen] at the time there was a woman being slapped, naked, bound up… so, we had to have our children close their eyes,” she told KTVU. “I could see another car behind us that had children in there with their eyes closed.”

Powell said she expressed her concerns to a theater employee before trying to shield the pornographic film from being able to be seen by her children.  Eventually, they had to leave.

“There is no way to avoid looking at that screen. It’s too tempting. So, we couldn’t stay. So, we had to turn around. My children were devastated.”

The theater company would not comment to KTVU.

Another California drive-in is also under fire because the screen showing Fifty Shades of Grey can be seen from Highway 50 at the Sacramento 6.