Walton to host early viewing of “Black Panther”

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The highly-anticipated movie “Black Panther”, which isn’t scheduled to open in most theaters until Friday, Feb. 16, will be made available a day early to Marvel fans in Selma at the Walton Theater on Thursday, Feb. 15.

The early showing is being offered by the Walton Theater and is not sponsored by the relief center. According to a statement from the theater, “for legal purposes, the Walton Theater Selma has issued a press release to clarify previously released information by third party entities. All showings of “Black Panther” movie, including the pre-screening, are open to the public and hosted exclusively by the Walton Theater in accordance with applicable contract language. The Walton Theater Selma is excited to offer this box office hi here in Selma. All tickets are sold exclusively from the Walton Theater at www.waltontheater.org, and organizations can contact group sales at (334) 878-3456 (FILM) to pre-purchase group tickets. You cannot purchase tickets for movies shown at the Walton Theater Selma anywhere else except at the Walton Theater Selma, located at 1000 Selma Avenue, or online at the Walton Theater Selma webpage. For more information, please call the Walton Theater Selma.”

In addition to the early release, The Knights and Orchids Society’s Black Sheep Relief Center has offered to provide a limited amount of free tickets to local students.

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“Through this screening of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther,’ TKO Society Inc. wants to allow local students to engage with complex characters who represent the richness of their shared ancestry while serving as a vivid inspiration that opens the viewers imagination to a myriad of roles that they can actualize for themselves as tech geniuses, royalty, intellectuals, warriors, and ultimately, as their very own superheroes,” TKO Society Inc.’s publicist Christina Nicholson said in an e-mail to the Times-Journal.

Students can receive free tickets and concessions by uploading a copy of their report cards or progress reports from the past 90 days to www.tkosociety.com. Students can pick up their tickets at the Black Sheep Relief Center located on 108 Broad St. on the day of or before the opening.

“There is no grade or honor roll requirement,” Nicholson said. “We just want to see the areas where we can help the kids. We just wanted to do something that would get them excited, because the world is really excited about this film. Locally, we wanted to do something to support the kids and let them know that we want to share this moment with them.”

Offering the pre-purchased tickets to students was the idea TKO Society president Quentin Bell, who approached the managers of the Walton Theater looking for a way to do something for the kids in the Selma community.

The high level of excitement around “Black Panther” is due in large part to it being one of the first major superhero films with an African-American director and a predominantly black cast. Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker and Sterling Brown all play major roles in the film directed by Ryan Coogler. According to Nicholson, this type of representation on the big screen was too big of an experience not to share with the children in the Selma area.

“To know that children will get to see something like this at an early age is really exciting,” she said. “We can only hope that they’ll show more things like this in the future.”

Not only will students have early access, but adults can also attend the early screening with a $20 donation which will go toward the relief center. Donors will receive tickets to the premier, concessions and an early red carpet entry. Tickets cannot be purchased from anyone other than the Walton Theater. Only tickets purchased from the theater will be honored.

The Black Sheep Relief Center is a resource center for the local LGBTQ community that opened in Selma this past July.

“We also help the local LGBTQ community to get any type of resources or support that they need, whether it’s to help them find jobs or help them get the resources they need for their health or housing,” Nicholson said. “The donations go towards helping the individuals that come to us in need of support.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will begin at 7 p.m. There is limited seating and students under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information about the TKO Society or the early screening, visit the TKO website or call (334) 526-4443.

*This story was updated to reflect that all showings of “Black Panther” movie, including the pre-screening, is being hosted exclusively by the Walton Theater.