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Exhibs dig ‘Deep’

Rights owner to reissue seminal porn pic

Prepare for an even deeper “Throat.”

Responding to exhibitor requests, “Deep Throat” copyright owner Arrow Prods. is striking remastered prints of the porn film, which will be distributed in tandem with Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s Universal Pictures documentary “Inside Deep Throat.”

U has nothing to do with — and until Monday afternoon, had no knowledge of — plans to re-release “Deep Throat.” The re-release is masterminded by Raymond Pistol, the principal owner of Las Vegas-based Arrow; his sales agent, Marc Bruder, of Cable Entertainment Distribution; and veteran distrib Mark Borde.

The film that sparked infamy for Linda Lovelace is still banned in many states. U is currently working to compile an accurate list.

“It’s yet to be determined if it’s going to be in the same theaters” as the documentary, said Borde, who holds exclusive domestic U.S. theatrical rights in association with CED and Arrow. Borde also operates Innovation Film Group, which handles pics such as “A Foreign Affair” and the upcoming “Modigliani.”

“I wouldn’t do this with any other (porn) movie,” Borde said, “and I wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t a documentary.”

Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle confirmed that he’s in early discussions about screening the pic in his theaters. In addition to midnight screenings, he’s also considering the possibility of giving the film primetime screen space.

“Inside Deep Throat” opens Friday in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and New York, with a wider rollout planned.

Not opening yet

“Deep Throat” won’t be ready for theaters until at least Feb. 18. Film labs began working Monday afternoon to produce 10 new “Deep Throat” prints. Five will be the original pic released in 1972; the other five will be edited to earn the MPAA’s R rating.

The Landmark chain is also releasing “Inside Deep Throat,” but VP of marketing Ray Price said it would not screen the triple-X “Deep Throat.” Although Landmark has handled X-rated films in the past such as “Flesh Gordon” and 3-D title “The Stewardesses,” Price said unspooling “Deep Throat” would be a step too far.

“It would be controversial within our core constituency,” Price said. “It’s totally different than showing the NC-17. You have police departments dedicated to going after ‘Deep Throat.’ ”

Laemmle has a more sanguine view toward his theaters. He’s already used them to for midnight screenings of hardcore porn in conjunction with another X-rated cultural exploration, “Boogie Nights.”

“It generally takes something that goes on in the larger culture to bring (porn) back to the forefront,” Laemmle said. “It almost becomes camp. It’s no different than bringing back ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ Anything to bring back that disco ball.”

“I guess that’s synergy, right?” said Bailey, who was in New York preparing for his film’s East Coast bow. “It’s such a clever idea. (The documentary) validates their curiosity to see the original film. I think the audience is in for a surprise, to see what it’s like to sit in a theater and watch a porn film.”

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