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Published: Saturday, 11/12/2005

Theater pulls rapper's movie after shooting death in lobby

FROM BLADE WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS

WEST HOMESTEAD, Pa. - A man was shot to death in the lobby of a movie house where gangsta rapper 50 Cent's movie Get Rich or Die Tryin' had just played, prompting the theater near Pittsburgh to stop showing the film, police said yesterday.

The audience for the highly publicized movie had just spilled into the lobby of the Loews Cineplex at the Waterfront in West Homestead near Pittsburgh Wednesday evening when shots were fired during an argument between four customers, said West Homestead Police Department spokesman Jerald Berger.

Shelton Flowers, 30, of Wilkinsburg, Pa., was shot three times and died later at a local hospital, Mr. Berger said. Mr. Flowers and one other person fired the shots, but police have no suspects yet.

Allegheny County police said Mr. Flowers had just watched 50 Cent's movie and got into a confrontation with three men in the bathroom. A fight ensued and spilled out into the concessions area, where Mr. Flowers was shot, police said.

It was not known what movie the three men had seen, but John McCauley, the vice president of marketing for Loews Corp., said the company decided to stop showing Get Rich or Die Tryin' at the theater during the investigation.

Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc., removed billboards for the movie near some schools after Los Angeles area community leaders complained last month that they glorified violence.

Concern by Toledo authorities over the violence in the film has prompted another theater chain, National Amusements, to end midnight showings at Toledo's Franklin Park 16 Cinema De Lux in light of rioting that occurred last month after a neo-Nazi group visited the city.

National Amusements declined requests by police not to show the movie at all. The theater will continue matinee and evening showings, spokesman Brian Callaghan said yesterday, and police officers have been present during showings of the film at the Franklin Park theater.

"We're working with police, but we have had no problems with the movie and anticipate no problems with the film," Mr. Callaghan said.

The R-rated movie is based on Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's own life, which includes drug dealing, time in prison, and getting shot nine times.



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