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‘Christ’ fills Farragut theater
Local businessman rents Farragut movie screens for private screening

Dr. Pete Sulack, left, of Exodus Chiropractic awaits the first run of “The Passion of The Christ” in one of two screening rooms he reserved to show the Mel Gibson film Monday night in Farragut.- Dan Barile/farragutpress
Dr. Pete Sulack does not like the controversy that has become associated with the movie, “The Passion of The Christ.”

“Most people have heard about the movie, have heard the ‘anti-Semitism’ talk,” Sulack said in an interview prior to a screening of the movie.

“People need to stop listening to the gossip surrounding this movie and go see it to form their own opinions by seeing it and not just hearing about it,” he added.

Sulack, owner of Exodus Chiropractic in Farragut, decided to assist hesitant moviegoers by renting two of the Regal Cinemas’ Farragut Town Square Cinema 10 screens for two nights for an advanced showing of the film.

Sulack provided more than 1,000 local residents with tickets to a premier of “The Passion of The Christ” two days prior to its Feb. 25 nationwide release.

Sulack rented two screens at the Farragut theater for a total of four screens, the maximum number allowed by Regal Cinemas.

“If we could have rented out the whole thing, I think we could have filled it,” Sulack said.

“We knew people would be interested, and we just wanted to do something for the community,” Sulack said. “A lot of people haven’t ever been to a private screening before, so the community can get together to see this movie that everyone’s talking about.”

Sulack had not watched the film prior to the private screening, but insisted the movie has nothing to do with religion.

“Everyone is calling this a religious movie, but it’s not about religion,” Sulack said. “It’s about what Jesus Christ sacrificed for us. It’s about a relationship and how Jesus Christ did this so he can have a relationship with us,” he added, referring to the Bible’s portrayal of Christ’s death by crucifixion.

Sulack did not question the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ.

“If some other producers would have done the movie I would have worried,” he said of actor/producer Mel Gibson’s work, “but this is the truest depiction they’ll see on the big screen.”

The movie has been given an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America because of its graphic violence.

Sulack recommended the movie for children over the age of 10. The movie does not contain nudity or foul language.

Sulack spent an estimated $12,000 to $15,000 on the private screenings of “The Passion of The Christ.” The cost included promotional materials, Bibles for all attendees and ticket printing.

In addition, local Chick-fil-A and Petro’s restaurants provided complimentary food. A portion of the cost was recovered through ticket sales (approximately 500 tickets were sold to Sulack’s clients) and private donations. Regal Cinemas gave no ticket discounts.

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