Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Am. F. video store may be winning battle with studio over edited films
Deseret News 30Jul99 L2
By Jeff Call: Deseret News staff writer
AMERICAN FORK -- James Cameron's oscar-winning movie "Titanic"
collided with an unseen iceberg last summer and with two American Fork
mom-and-pop businesses. Sunrise Family Video and Towne
Cinema unknowingly stood on the front lines in a battle with
Paramount Pictures and the right to edit both movies show in theatres and personally owned copies of the movies.
Sunrise owner, Carol Biesinger, said the practice of editing was not
part of an organized plot. "We have no tie with the theater. We
just happen to be in the same city," she explained. "Then again,
considering the standards in this area, maybe it isn't a
coincidence." Most residents of American Fork and Utah County are
members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The
owners of Sunrise and Towne Cinema are firm believers in upholding
Towne Cinema owners, Carol and John Allred said, "We couldn't believe
it became such a big deal." "Never in a million years did I think it
would turn into that. I didn't think it would get out of Utah
When Paramount Pictures learned about the editing, it pulled the film
Titanic from Towne Cinema. Paramount claimed editing movies violated
copyright and trademark laws. Towne Cinema must now sign an
agreement that says they will agree not do any editing. "We're back
on every studios list," Allred said. "They wanted to scare us. We
were hoping to scare them. But that's hard to do to Hollywood."
Sunrise heard threats from Paramount after it announced on its
marquee, "We'll Edit Your 'Titanic' for $5," last September. "The
first night we received 30 or 40 movies and I thought it had probably
run its course," Biesinger said. "The next day, CBS in New York was
on the phone." With letters being sent to both businesses, Paramount
threatened legal action if they continued. "There's been nothing
since then," Biesinger said. "They're probably smart to let it go."
"It's been a fanatastic experience, Biesinger said. "We've been able
to see how the media works. We've also seen the support we have.
Overall, it's helped us."