Lancaster County Theater cancels premiere of documentary starring Doug Mastriano

The documentary is described as “a documentary about resistance to globalism and tyranny in Pennsylvania.”

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A Lancaster County theater has canceled plans to show a movie starring some of Pennsylvania’s prominent conservative leaders, including Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor Doug Mastriano.

A documentary titled Return of the American Patriot: The Rise of Pennsylvania was scheduled to premiere July 16 at Penn Cinema.

The film is described as “a documentary about resistance to globalism and tyranny in Pennsylvania.”

However, the venue canceled the premiere after backlash from a group called the Lancaster Stands Up.

According to a Facebook post, the theater told the organization: “We had plans with the group, but upon learning of the nationalist-populist agenda we canceled the event.”

The makers of the documentary say this is the product of the Cancel culture.

“I was taken back by what I saw was honestly a bit of cowardice on the part of the owner. but on a larger level, a macro level, I mean, that’s what we’re seeing all the time. I mean, the abandonment culture is now part of our lexicon. Cancel culture is a real issue in our culture today,” said Steve Turley, one of the documentary’s producers.

But other people believe the company made the right choice — and that regardless of the decision, there would have been a backlash.

“I think there would have been a lot of backlash either way,” said Alisha Marie, a Lancaster County resident. “You’re going to get people who are unhappy with the decision they made. Some people wouldn’t go there because they canceled it. Some people don’t go there because they’ve played it.”

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From a First Amendment perspective, experts say the theater’s owners have every right to choose what types of movies they want to show.

“Cinema is not a government agency, and the First Amendment gives people the right to be free from restrictions on their speech when those restrictions are imposed by the government,” said Michael Dimino, law professor at Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School “But the First Amendment provides no right to be free from restrictions imposed by individuals or corporations, including movie theaters, employers, and all of us.”

A second venue, the Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center, also canceled plans to host the premiere.

The producer of the documentary says he has found a new place to screen the documentary and will release more information as the date gets closer.

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