12/23/2014 12:35 EST | Updated 02/22/2015 05:59 EST

The Interview to have 'limited theatrical release' in the U.S., says Sony

Sony Pictures has reversed its controversial decision to scrap screenings of the Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, according to the entertainment company.

"We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," said Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton in a statement today.

"At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theatres so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."​

News of the reversal came midday Tuesday when the founder of an American independent movie chain declared "victory" online.

"Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day,” tweeted Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

"We are making shows available within the hour," he wrote.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an independent movie chain founded in Austin, Texas, with theatres in many states, including New York, California and Arizona.

Atlanta's Plaza Theater in Georgia also said it will show the film.

It's not clear if there are any plans to release the movie in Canada.

Threats of violence

Sony Pictures announced last week it had called off the scheduled release of the North Korea satire following hacker threats of violence against theatres showing the film. 

U.S. President Barack Obama said Sony "made a mistake" when it pulled the film despite a cyberattack and threats of violence that investigators blamed on North Korea.

Earlier media reports suggested that Sony might release The Interview on its own streaming video service, Crackle, but neither Crackle nor parent Sony has responded to requests for comment.

Just the beginning

Releasing The Interview would be Sony's first step in moving forward from the massive cyberattack that saw embarrassing private emails leaked to the media, and previously unreleased movies disseminated online.

Sony also has to deal with pending litigation.

It faces six lawsuits by 10 ex-employees who claim the company violated California privacy laws by not securing their personal, financial and medical information.

The cases all seek class-action status and want to draw in the nearly 50,000 current and ex-employees whose private info was stolen and posted online.

Sony has not responded to the lawsuits, which seek monetary damages as well as a requirement that the studio pay for credit monitoring and repair services for the next several years.