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In Historic First, Sony Releases 'The Interview' Online Christmas Eve, In Independent Theaters Christmas Day

(CBS SF) -- After pulling "The Interview" from theatrical release in the face of terrorist threats traced to North Korea, Sony confirms it is changing plans and releasing the film in limited theaters on Christmas Day after all, acquiescing to the outcry of many Americans who said the nation had suffered an attack on the freedom of speech.

COMPLETE LIST: Bay Area Theaters Showing "The Interview"

Seth Rogen tweeted Tuesday, "The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!"

Word first broke after an independent theater owner in Texas, Tim League, tweeted this on Tuesday:

He writes, "Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory."

League had set up a petition just for theater owners to ask for the release.
He wants to show it as his independent Alamo Drafthouse theaters.

Another theater in Atlanta has already announced showtimes:

Sony confirms the plans, although it's not clear yet how widespread the release will be.

In a statement Tuesday, Sony's CEO Michael Lynton said,"We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

Lynton added, "I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."

In previous reports over the weekend, Sony was considering releasing the film for free on its streaming site, Crackle.

WATCH: In a now exclusive red carpet interview, controversial filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg may have foreseen the hacking of Sony Pictures a month ago during a red carpet interview with Liam Mayclem at their San Francisco Film Society premiere at the Castro Theater.


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