'Birth of a Nation' Theater Accused of Lying to Kill Ticket Sales ... But Denies Racism

10/28/2016 1:13 PM PDT

Theater Denies 'Birth of a Nation' Racism

EXCLUSIVE

Regal Cinemas says it's not on a mission to tank Nate Parker's "The Birth of a Nation" ... despite a viral video purportedly catching one theater lying about tickets being sold-out. 

Moviegoer Devon Walls claims staff at a Regal Cinemas in Delaware steered him away from buying tickets by telling him the theater was sold-out, and instead encouraging him to see "The Accountant." In a video he posted, Walls strongly suggests the move was racially motivated because he found out the 'Birth' theater was almost empty.

A rep for Regal denies it was racism, and told us the theater was "adjusting films and auditoriums to meet consumer demand." It's unclear what that means exactly, but the theater manager did tell Walls they'd added a showing of 'Birth' at the last minute to handle demand -- and that's the theater he saw nearly empty.

Mind you, Walls says he was never told about that added screening.  

Regal brass insists the race of the filmmaker, actors and the film's subject matter had "absolutely no bearing on the decision."