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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 11:52 GMT
Imax cinemas refuse volcano film
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea makes reference to the theory of evolution
Several Imax cinemas in the US have chosen not to show a film referring to the theory of evolution.

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea explores the link between human DNA and microbes found inside undersea volcanoes.

However, cinemas in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas are concerned it may offend certain religious cinemagoers.

"Many People here believe in creationism, not evolution," said Lisa Buzzelli, spokeswoman for an Imax cinema in Charleston, South Carolina.

"We've got to pick a film that's going to sell in our area. If it's not going to sell, we're not going to take it," said Ms Buzzelli, though she did not rule out showing the film in the future.

Creative approach

However, others have criticised the move, saying that a refusal to screen films dealing with evolution may lead to filmmakers avoiding the topic completely.

"It's going to restrain the creative approach by directors who refer to evolution," said Joe DeAmicis, vice-president of marketing at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and former director of an Imax cinema.

"References to evolution will be dropped."

Imax cinemas also screen blockbusters including Robots

While relatively few cinemas have been involved, it is feared the decision could have a knock-on effect across the world because of the high cost of producing Imax films, which are shot on specialised cameras.

There are currently 240 Imax cinemas operating in 35 countries.

Pietro Serapiglia, who handles distribution for Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, said the decision not to screen the film had only surfaced in the south of the country, in an area sometimes known as the 'Bible Belt'.

In addition to educational films, Imax cinemas also screen blockbusters such as Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Spider-Man 2 and the recent animated movie Robots.

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