Advocates picket Evanston's Century Theatre following CEO's 'Yes on 8' contribution

Sat. November 22, 2008 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

nearly 500 people protest at century theatre in evanston

photo credit // michael lehet

Theater's CEO gave $9999 to anti-gay California Proposition 8

Evanston, IL - Opponents of California's Proposition 8 continued to pressure for marriage equality by targeting the business of one of its biggest benefactors, Century Theatre in Evanston. Nearly 500 people gathered Saturday in Evanston to picket Century Theatre and send a message to Cinemark's CEO.

Alan Stock, CEO of Plano, TX-based Cinemark, Inc., the owner of the Century Theater, donated $9999 to Proposition 8. Cinemark which operates Century, CinéArts and Tinseltown theaters is one of the largest theater chains in the country.

"It's no longer open season on LGBT people," said Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network. "People giving mega-bucks to promote discrimination against our community will now become objects of scorn themselves and they will feel it in the wallet or pocket book as we encourage other supporters of equal rights to cease patronizing your businesses."

After a peaceful protest in front of the theater, the diverse group marched to the Northwestern University campus where they blocked the same entrance to the University that students did in the 60's to protest the Vietnam War.

Gay-rights advocates continue to put the pressure on Cinemark. John Aravosis, editor of political blog Americablog, has called for the boycott of the gay-friendly Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah noting that Sundance uses Cinemark-owned Holiday Village Cinema as one of its biggest screening venues.

"Your Sundance registration money is quite literally helping to subsidize a donation to Yes on 8," said Aravosis.

A national organizer is also planning boycotts of the Cinemark-owned and operated theatres.

Additional reporting by Michael Lehet