All Jesus, all the time

The hysteria (minus the writhing on the ground and the speaking in tongues) for Mel Gibson’s Jesus Christ: Aramaic Graffiti continues to build:

Responding to increased demand from exhibitors, Icon and Newmarket said Wednesday that they now planned to distribute more than 4,000 prints of “Passion,” up from the approximate 2,500 previously announced.

The increase reflects the expanding number of theaters that will play “Passion” and the number of theaters that will show the pic on multiple screens. Icon and Newmarket now say they plan to be in 2,800 theaters, up from an original 2,000.


Several theaters around the country are planning midnight showings on Tuesday night, including the ArcLight in Hollywood.

A Cinemark theater in Plano, Texas, plans to show “Passion” on all of its 20 screens. After a midnight show, it plans to keep the pic playing 24 hours a day.

Previously it was announced that Gibson’s movie would only be shown in select communities:

If you live on the west side of Manhattan, on most of western Long Island, or in Beverly Hills and you want to see Mel Gibson’s controversial new movie “The Passion of the Christ,” you will be out of luck.

When the film — which some critics are calling anti-Semitic and inflammatory — opens on Feb. 25, it will be in very select theatres only.

Even though the makers of “The Passion of the Christ” are touting its 2,000 screen premiere, the movie’s Web site and another Web site, moviefone.com, tell a very different story.

For example, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, the film will play in a handful of out-of-the-way-theatres — one in Times Square, two in fringe areas of the East Side, one second-run theatre at Broadway and 100th St. and one in Harlem. There will be one screen below 34th St, and none from 42nd St. to 96th St. on the West Side. This excludes all prestige venues like the Ziegfeld, the Paris, the Beekman and Sony Lincoln Square.


The same goes for the wealthier and trendier parts of Los Angeles such as Beverly Hills and Century City. Those who are curious will have to seek their “Passion” in odd places, in out-of-the-way cineplexes. You won’t be able to see it at the Beverly Center, for example. But four theatres in economically less desirable San Jose, Calif. will show the film.

All of this seems designed to keep “The Passion of the Christ” out of neighborhoods that are considered Jewish, upscale or liberal.

Unmentioned is that fact that movie will also not be screened at any theaters offering Jujubes at the snack bar because, well, you know….

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....