If you live in Springfield, Illinois, you might have to wait until Sunday to see the new dance movie Stomp the Yard. Or you could simply avoid the cinemas operated by Kerasotes Theatres, which has postponed the movie for two days. Unfortunately for those who aren't able or willing to travel, the chain pretty much has a monopoly on the theater business of Springfield. Too bad, since it would be a good idea for people in the city to completely boycott Kerasotes after its CEO's racist assumptions.
Tony Kerasotes originally said that he wouldn't be showing the movie in any of his Springfield theatres, but pressure from the NAACP and members of the community made him change his decision to a two-day postponement. The reason for Kerasotes' first instinct to ban the movie was that he feared gang violence, which he denied had anything to do with race. Recently, at one of the Springfield Kerasotes Theatres, a fight broke out during a showing of Black Christmas, and one teenager was shot. Because most of those involved in that incident are not in custody, Kerasotes assumes a similar event could happen again.
Obviously, any kind of violence is possible during any kind of movie, and the association with Stomp the Yard and gangs has made Kerasotes appear racist. He isn't the only one, though. Any of the people making a point about Black Christmas being a "white movie" or stating that horror movies attract mostly non-white viewers is adding to the problem. TMZ's report on the story goes so far as to bring up the centennial of Springfield's worst race riot.
I used to work in the theatre business, and I know how annoying it is for the home office to issue security alerts for every "black film" (or "urban film" for the pseudo-PC) that could possibly incite or attract violent patrons. When Stomp the Yard opens in Springfield on Sunday, Kerasotes Theatres will have more security guards on duty than is normal. Hopefully it will have a lot less customers than is normal too.