Kentucky theater refuses to show 'The Butler' movie

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by Claudia Coffey / WHAS11

khou.com

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. -- The movie "The Butler" is getting rave reviews from critics and raking in plenty of cash at the box office. It brought in an estimated $25 million during its opening weekend, but that doesn't mean a thing to an Elizabethtown theater owner.

Ike Boutwell said he refuses to show the movie and it's all because actress Jane Fonda, who stars in the movie.

"Personal, very personal. In other words if I supported Jane Fonda, I feel like I'd be spitting on the graves of our servicemen who died for this nation. That's how I feel about it," Movie Palace and Showtime Cinemas owner Boutwell said.

Boutwell said he didn't think twice about passing on the movie the minute he found out actress Jane Fonda was in it, portraying Nancy Reagan in the film about Cecil Gaines, who served eight U.S. presidents as the butler in the White House.

"The minute I knew it was coming out, maybe a month before, that was it for me," Boutwell said.

The Korean War vet trained pilots for the Vietnam War. He said he has never been a fan of Fonda since she was photographed on an anti-aircraft battery in North Vietnam and for her anti-war views.

"I cannot support treason, that's what we are talking about here. Aid and conflict  to the enemy is treason and she gave aid and conflict to the enemy," Boutwell said.

Boutwell estimates he will probably lose several thousand dollars by not showing the movie, but to him it's not about profit. 

"Honey, if it makes me go broke, I could care less. You got to stand for something and this is what I stand for," Boutwell said.

This is not the first time Boutwell chose not to show a Fonda film. Letters came in from supporters across the U.S. who stood behind Boutwell in 2005 when he refused to show "Monster In Law," which also featured Fonda.

"I was very, very surprised by how many people did respond," Boutwell said.

They even sent him checks, which he never cashed, to make up for any lost earnings.

As far as the reaction he'll get this time, he's already received some emails supporting his decision, but in the end, it's not about business, it's personal.

"Americans are Americans and when the mud gets rough, I think we are all seriously Americans," he said.

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