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January 01, 1988|JOHN VOLAND | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

A Rhode Island theater chain is continuing to play the national anthem before rolling the feature film--in spite of growing protests to the practice. Since 1956, Stella Erinakes, a partner in the 20-screen SSC Cinemas of Rhode Island, has mandated the evening's entertainment be prefaced with the "The Star-Spangled Banner." "Maybe we're just patriotic," Erinakes told the Providence Journal-Bulletin. "Freedom, I hope, means the same thing to everybody. I'd have to be a cripple not to stand up (for the anthem)." Others do not agree. "I think it's completely offensive," said Libby Isham of Newport. "I don't think it's right (for a movie theater) to have a military tone."

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