Rolling Stone magazine coverboy Seth Rogen says he is still coming to Denver on Dec. 8 to get high on legal Colorado marijuana — “we can smoke weed in the theater,” he famously tweeted — and screen his new film “The Interview” more than two weeks before its release date.
But there was a short time on Wednesday when Rogen’s Colorado appearance was called into question. The screening’s primary Colorado organizer, the Denver Film Society (which was hosting the screening in its own Sie FilmCenter), told The Cannabist the event had been canceled. So we wrote that story on Wednesday.
About 10 minutes after publication, Rogen responded to one of our staffers saying that “they’re telling people we cancelled. They changed the guidelines to ones we found lame so we got a new venue … I’m still coming and we are still doing this shit. The old venue was acting lame so we got a new one.” So we updated our story to include his comments.
There's a bullshit story out there that our amazing Denver weed screening of #TheInterviewMovie is cancelled. Lies! I'll be there, Denver!
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 4, 2014
But what exactly happened?
We have the story, and it all comes down to that still-controversial weed, according to the Denver Film Society, the non-profit organization behind indie theater complex the Sie FilmCenter and the annual Starz Denver Film Festival.
“The Denver Film Society was excited to be asked to host a special promotional screening of the highly-anticipated film ‘The Interview’ at our home theater,” the Film Society told The Cannabist in an exclusive statement. “We later learned that there was a plan to invite the audience, including some of our own members, to actively violate Colorado’s smoking regulations by lighting up inside the theater.”
The “plan” in question, of course, was Rogen’s tweet: “We are going to do a screening of #TheInterviewMovie in Colorado where I get baked with everyone first, and we can smoke weed in the theater”
We are going to do a screening of #TheInterviewMovie in Colorado where I get baked with everyone first, and we can smoke weed in the theater
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 26, 2014
Sure enough, Colorado law doesn’t allow public consumption of marijuana. This is something we mentioned when we first broke the news of Rogen’s Colorado visit. Do people still smoke and vape in public — at rock shows, on the street or at comedy clubs? Of course they do.
Some government officials even think Denver should have one day of amnesty for public pot smoking on each April 20 (a.k.a. 4/20). But how serious is this debate? Some Colorado cities are banning public e-cigarette use in part because they look so similar to vaporizers that use THC oil.
“After informing the studio that we could not make an exception either to our policies or Colorado law,” the Denver Film Society’s letter continued, “they decided to cancel the screening with us. We were asked to inform our members simply that ‘the event was no longer happening.’ We were given no information about the event being relocated.”
In one of Rogen’s interactions with Cannabist staffer Jake Browne, he said the Denver Film Society “changed the guidelines to ones we found lame so we got a new venue.”
@fakejakebrowne I think they're telling people we cancelled. They changed the guidelines to ones we found lame so we got a new venue.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 4, 2014
But the Film Society said indoor smoking of any kind was never a part of its agreement with the actor and the studio behind “The Interview”: “There was no agreement to let the audience smoke inside the theater,” the Film Society told The Cannabist exclusively.
Now that we know the screening is being relocated — to a 420-friendly theater space, Rogen promises — where will that be? Rogen fielded that question multiple times in the last 24 hours with wait-and-see responses.
Fans who send an email to RSVPTheInterviewDenver@gmail.com will get word of the screening, Rogen says.
And the actor even invited his pal Snoop Dogg to the Colorado screening.
@SnoopDogg come to Denver on Monday. I'll roll you more cross joints.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 28, 2014
But does this pot-friendly movie theater actually exist?
There are plenty of spaces in the state that bend the laws regularly, allowing on-site smoking and vaping during rock concerts and comedy shows. Some Denver locals are encouraging Rogen via Twitter to check out one such room, the Oriental Theater, in north Denver.
Kayvan Khalatbari co-owns pot shop Denver Relief and runs Sexpot Comedy, which regularly hosts shows at the Oriental, and told Rogen: “@Sethrogen the @theorientalthea is all set up for you on Monday. 400 seats, Cannabis friendly and no conditions. @sexpotcomedy.”
— Kayvan Khalatbari (@LaughingSheikh) December 4, 2014
Regardless of where Rogen ends up, we’ll be following the story.