CHARLESTON, S.C. – IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution might offend those with fundamental religious beliefs.
"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 Lisa Buzzelli, director of an IMAX (search) theater in Charleston that is not showing the movie. "Many people here believe in creationism, not evolution."
The film, "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," makes a connection between human DNA and microbes inside undersea volcanoes.
Buzzelli doesn't rule out showing the movie in the future.
IMAX theaters in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas have declined to show the film, said Pietro Serapiglia, who handles distribution for Stephen Low (search), the film's Montreal-based director and producer.
"I find it's only in the South," Serapiglia said.
Critics worry screening out films that mention evolution will discourage the production of others in the future.
"It's going to restrain the creative approach by directors who refer to evolution," said Joe DeAmicis, vice president for marketing at the California Science Center (search) in Los Angeles and a former director of an IMAX theater. "References to evolution will be dropped."