Fahrenheit finds eager audience
June 9, 2008 · Updated 5:15 PM
Controversial film breaks records at the Lynwood.
Its a fact: filmmaker Michael Moore is a bigger draw than invading space aliens on Bainbridge.
We did three times the box office of Men In Black or Independence Day (on opening weekend), said TJ Faddis, manager of the Historic Lynwood Theatre, of Moores documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which opened at the theater Friday.
I thought it would build, she said. Were kind of standing here with our mouths agape.
Faddis estimates about 2,800 Lynwood patrons watched Fahrenheit 9/11 over the three-day weekend surpassing every record shes seen set in her 20 years with the theater.
The film about the Bush administrations reaction to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, saw the Lynwoods midday showings sell out for the first time. Of the 12 weekend showings, seven were sold out.
Cars lined Lynwood Center Road in both directions throughout the weekend in a Rotary Auction-esque scene, with hundreds of patrons chatting as they waited in the have ticket line or the hoping to get ticket line.
The film will run four showings a day through July 8.
Patrons came from as far as Port Angeles, Port Townsend, and even Seattle where the Neptune was sold out all weekend.
Its scary stuff, stuff I didnt know before we got into the war, said Nicky Orcutt of Poulsbo.
Anna McGrath, a senior at Bainbridge High School, saw the film with her sister and friends Monday afternoon. The group agreed that scenes of wounded soldiers, and of a mother reading a last letter from her dead soldier son, were hard to take.
It was really intense. Some of the images of wounded U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens really blew me away, McGrath said.
I didnt walk in thinking all of it will be true, but I see there are valid points.
Ann Lott, a BHS sophomore, noted the reaction the presidents own statements used in the film.
A lot of people think the movie is upsetting because it insults Bush, she said, but its like if you watch the movie, you cant help it because he brings it on himself.
Faddis said reactions to the film ranged from anger at the Bush administration, to quiet introspection, to tears. She falls into the third group; her 20-year old son Tom Faddis, a National Guardsman, was shipped to Iraq two months ago with best friend and fellow islander Corey Christopherson.
Especially when you have somebody over there, you gather all the information you can, so you know where to stand on the issues, Faddis said.
To my mind, this film is more information. I dont have to accept it, but its nice to have it because it helps balance out what the mainstream (media) is telling us.
Said Faddis of filmgoers with friends and relatives in Iraq: Im glad Im (at the theater) for those folks overwhelmed with some of the images, that they have someone to talk to.
She recalls meeting a woman whose brother is in Iraq, and was out in the lobby crying for most of the show. She returned the next day to finish watching the film.
The Bainbridge theater was the only theater in Kitsap County to open the film finding out only last week it was getting a print.
By showing the Moore documentary at the Lynwood, I feel like Im doing something for Tom, Faddis said.