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Texas Movie Theater Chain Shrugs Off Criticism for Women-Only Screenings of 'Wonder Woman'

The Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Austin, Texas. (Paul Narvaez / CC 2.0)

The Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Austin, Texas. (Paul Narvaez / CC 2.0)

Update, May 30, 2017: Alamo Drafthouse sent Truthdig the following statement regarding the online controversy sparked by the women-only screenings: “Obviously, Alamo Drafthouse recognizes ‘Wonder Woman’ is a film for all audiences, but our special women-only screenings may have created confusion—we want everybody to see this film.”

Earlier: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a popular Texas movie theater chain, incurred the wrath of online commenters as word spread that it had scheduled a women-only screening of the upcoming film “Wonder Woman.” The chain’s management, undeterred, responded to the criticism by adding even more women-only showings.

Alamo Drafthouse announced the initial showing on its website:

The most iconic superheroine in comic book history finally has her own movie, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-female screening?

Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying “No Guys Allowed” for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. And when we say “People Who Identify As Women Only,” we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.

So lasso your geeky girlfriends together and grab your tickets to this celebration of one of the most enduring and inspiring characters ever created.

As the Washington Post reports, the announcement, after going viral on Facebook, garnered some intense criticism:

The screening drew praise from some men, but it also provoked an outpouring of anger from others who flooded the theater’s Facebook page to label the event “sexist”

“Very tacky Alamo,” Facebook user Allan Dale wrote. “I’m all for equality and having a screening specifically stating it is not inclusive to everyone, is against equality. I’m not saying Alamo did this intentionally, but it is still just wrong.”

“It’s sexist and bigoted,” Evan Johnson commented, receiving nearly 40 reactions, more than half of which appeared to be laughing at Johnson’s comment.

But the online hate didn’t seem to bother the Alamo Drafthouse management. The Post continues:

The flagship Austin location — one of 26 around the nation — embraced the backlash to its women-only screening, noting that the criticism online has been met with a positive response in real life.

“We are very excited to present select, women-only WONDER WOMAN screenings at Alamo Drafthouse,” Morgan Hendrix, Alamo Drafthouse creative manager said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post. “That providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right.”

“As a result, we will be expanding this program across the country and inviting women everywhere to join us as we celebrate this iconic superheroine in our theaters,” the statement added, referring to plans to hold women-only screenings in other states.

In the meantime, the chain’s Facebook page continues to give cheeky replies to complaints posted there.

“Have you ever hosted a men’s only showing of any film?” one Facebook user asked.

“We’ve never done showings where you had to be a man to get in,” Alamo Drafthouse responded, “but we [did] show the Entourage movie a few years ago.”

—Posted by Emma Niles

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