MONTEBELLO – Jun Apostol and a group of friends stood outside the AMC Montebello 10 hours before the theater’s first showing of “The Da Vinci Code.” But Apostol, 70, was not in line for a ticket to the film. He and some associates from the America Needs Fatima campaign instead lined the perimeter of the venue and asked moviegoers to boycott the film. “We’re delivering the message to people that this is not a good movie,” said the Montebello resident. “They are stripping Jesus of his divinity and attacking what we believe in.” Apostol was among a slew of people across the United States protesting Sony Pictures’ version of the blockbuster novel by Dan Brown. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsOn Friday, about 15 local demonstrators said they stood in representation of the Legion of Mary, their church and the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. Highly anticipated, “The Da Vinci Code” has been met with mixed reviews – mostly prior to its national debut – by groups throughout the United States. A Vatican official suggested that Catholics boycott the movie, and other groups have recommended that people still go to the movies this weekend, but that they watch something other than “The Da Vinci Code.” Montebello resident Susan Watkins said she hasn’t been bothered by all the hype. Nor was she discouraged by the group of protesters outside the Montebello theater on the film’s opening day. “I don’t listen to people telling me what to do,” said Watkins, 54, adding she read Brown’s book. “I’m not Catholic, but I loved the last pope. But I don’t feel other people should be telling me what’s right for me.” Apostol said his group’s protest is not intended to prevent people from seeing the film, but to warn them of what he believes are erroneous reports and depictions regarding Jesus. He and other protesters, which included residents from Monterey Park and Alhambra, held signs that read: “`The Da Vinci Code’ mocks our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. Stop Blasphemy!” Demonstrators outside the Montebello venue remained silent throughout their efforts, several of them sliding rosary beads between their fingers as they prayed. Occasionally, Consolacion Gonzales of Montebello approached the curb and waved her sign at passersby. “We have to defend our Lord,” said the 72-year-old Catholic. “He died for us, and we’re mocking him and making him an ordinary person – and he’s not.” East Los Angeles resident Josh Dominguez said he understands religious groups’ concerns about “The Da Vinci Code.” Personal beliefs aside, the 18-year-old, who said he read Brown’s novel two months ago, was also among the first in line for the film’s debut in Montebello. “I just thought it would be an interesting movie,” Dominguez said. “I really liked the book, and if it’s a good movie, I will recommend it to other people.” Passerby Aarnell Jones of Compton admitted he wasn’t very familiar with Dan Brown’s book, its movie adaptation or anything involving “The Da Vinci Code.” After inquiring about the protesters’ campaign, Jones, 32, later said he may opt to watch the film “to investigate what’s so bad about it” on his own. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!