A French cinema showing "The Last Temptation of Christ" was firebombed early Sunday morning, police said. There was extensive damage but no casualties at the Besancon theater, which was empty at the time of the fire. French police said Sunday the manager of the theater had received telephone threats since he started showing Martin Scorsese's film last week. Firefighters said a delayed-action explosive device was left in the seating area of the cinema Saturday evening. The bombing was the latest act of violence surrounding last week's release of "Last Temptation" in France. In Paris, police arrested two Roman Catholic followers of the arch-conservative French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre after they threw tear gas canisters into a movie theater Friday during a showing of the film. There were other incidents in Lyon, where Lefebvristes-- who find the film's depiction of Jesus profane--clashed with police in Lyon and then burst into three cinemas showing the film and threw rotten fruit and vegetables at moviegoers. French courts have rejected the petitions of three Catholic organizations to have the film banned.
JOHN VOLAND and STEVE WEINSTEIN Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
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