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A movie theater and hotel have canceled screenings of a film pushing debunked COVID conspiracy theories and campaigning for Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano installed as governor.


  • Robbie Brod

State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks to a crowd gathered for a rally celebrating William Penn in the rotunda of the state Capitol on July 1, 2022 in Harrisburg.

Sam Dunklau / WITF

State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks to a crowd gathered for a rally celebrating William Penn in the rotunda of the state Capitol on July 1, 2022 in Harrisburg.

The trailer for Return of the American Patriot: The Rise of Pennsylvania claims the state government used the lockdown to gain control of its residents.

“Once you give away such freedoms,” says one woman, “it’s very difficult to get them back.”

She referred to mask requirements that were proven to exist reduced the spread from COVID-19. Mask requirement from Pa was rescinded on June 28, 2021.

The film also compares rioters in the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack to Revolutionary War heroes fighting a tyrannical government. father gov. Tom Wolf is portrayed as a bully.

Penn Ketchum, who owns Penn Cinema in Lititz, said he canceled the film’s premiere last week when he became aware of his “nationalist-populist agenda”. The director of the film has threatened with a lawsuit Ketchum citing 400 ticket sales and a scheduled performance by Mastriano.

The Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center was later booked for the event but later also canceled, according to a Facebook post by Steve Turley director of the film.

The film includes interviews with right-wing groups promoting debunked conspiracy theories and conservative politicians, including Mastriano.

Mastriano has used his social media pages and other public forums to spread disinformation about COVID vaccines and the 2020 election. His support of Donald Trump’s voter fraud lie included organizing a policy committee meeting that provided a platform for Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to spread conspiracy theories. He used campaign funds to charter buses carrying thousands of supporters to Washington, DC on January 6 and was seen crossing police lines in front of the Capitol as the attack unfolded.

Mastriano claims he broke no laws and never entered the Capitol during the riots.

Mastriano is running for governor against Attorney General Josh Shapiro of the Democratic Palestinian Republic. In the months following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Shapiro’s office was defeated at least 40 lawsuits filed by Trump for alleged voter fraud against the state.

For more information on how Mastriano and Shapiro are addressing election security issues in Pa. stand, Click here.


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