To the Editor
A few points of clarification about your article regarding Ramapo promoting “Fifty Shades of Grey:”
1) As indicated at the top of the press release about “50 Shades of Grey,” it was generated by the Lafayette Theater’s film coordinator, yours truly, and not by the town supervisor, town board or support staff. The press release mirrored those sent out by movie theaters across the country.
2) The last movie the Lafayette Theater “threw its weight behind” was American Sniper, which some critics assailed as glorifying war.
3) For almost two years the Town of Ramapo has worked diligently attempting to keep the Lafayette Theater open. “Fifty Shades of Grey” will be our 49th first run movie presentation. I am surprised that Councilman Friedman has no apparent knowledge of our preservation efforts.
4) Single screen movie theaters in the United States are closing in droves daily due to studio fees and limited movie selections. “Fifty Shades of Grey” was selected by me because of its commercial appeal – the book “Fifty Shades” sold 100 million copies, and the pre-sale of tickets by Fandango for the movie has been off the charts. Showing the movie by theaters across the country (including the Lafayette) should, in no way be construed as condoning or promoting domestic violence.
5) Much like the Lafayette Theater’s screening of the controversial film “American Sniper,” it is comforting to live in a country where citizens enjoy freedom of choice. As a grandfather having several beautiful female grandchildren, being a woman’s advocate is a daily occupation – not simply one rooted in political opportunism.
Lafayette Theater Film Exhibitor
Response from Rockland County Times editor: Phil Tisi is the Public Affairs coordinator of the Town of Ramapo and assistant to Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence. Town staffer Jackie Eisen sent out the “50 Shades” press release from her town email address. To state the town did not take part in promotion of the film does not add up.
On another note, some might also question why it is that the town supervisor’s closest assistant is employed as a local theater’s film coordinator?