Following online petition, Harper Theater will show “42”

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL

The Harper Theater, 5238 S. Harper Ave., will be playing “42″ after all, following an online petition by the cinema and an exchange between owner Tony Fox and a company offical.

Fox told the Herald Thursday evening that Warner Bros., the Jackie Robinson biopic’s distributor, originally would not provide him with the film, though the reason was unclear.

The cinema posted a petition on grassroots activism website change.org, addressed to the studio, entitled “Warner Brothers: Allow Harper Theater to play “’42.’” After receiving a number of signatures, the theater made public a press release Thursday, before Fox spoke with the Herald, announcing that it would show the film.

“It is with great pride that The Harper Theater announces we will be exhibiting ’42′ upon its release next week,” the theater said in a prepared statement, adding that “the community came together supported [sic] us quickly and thoroughly in our attempt to obtain a copy of the film for its release.”

The Herald contacted Warner Bros.’s executive vice president of theatrical communications Jack Horner for comment Friday morning. Hours later, around 3 p.m., Fox told the Herald that according to Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president of theatrical distribution, the incident was a miscommunication and that he was “very supportive” of Harper Theatre’s obtaining the movie.

“42″ opens nationwide April 12.