Calgarian to host free Love, Simon screening to share messages of empowerment, acceptance
'It's a chance for people to learn about these important stories,' says Mike Morrison
A Calgary blogger is hosting a free screening of the movie Love, Simon to help remove potential barriers for people hoping to see the heartwarming rom-com about a teen's coming-out story.
Mike Morrison shared on social media on Saturday that he had bought out a theatre to host a free screening of the film, but said he needed a little help paying for the booking.
He said he was inspired by A-list celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Kristen Bell, who have been moved to buy out theatres to host screenings of the movie.
"I was inspired by that for sure and wanted to see if I could get the same thing to happen here in Calgary, but I don't have that movie star budget," Morrison said.
It's a trend that started with movies like Black Panther and A Wrinkle In Time, where people host free screenings to share a positive social message.
Within just three hours, he had raised more than the $2,000 required to host the event through crowdfunding.
"Everyone who sees this movie will become more empowered, I think, will become more accepting," Morrison said.
"It's a chance for people to learn about these important stories that I think teenagers are experiencing in their high schools that maybe we're not talking about as much as grown-ups."
The family-friendly movie tells a complicated LGBTQ love story, with a closeted teen as the main character.
"For me and my boyfriend, it was basically like Star Wars for us," Morrison said. "It's an important movie. It's the first movie funded by a major studio to feature a gay protagonist in a romantic role. That role has never existed before. So for me, to see someone who went through a similar story as me on the big screen ... it's the first time that's happened."
Morrison originally hoped to host the screening for 200 people, but is now looking to switch to a 400-seat theatre due to the outpouring of support he has received for the event.
The movie will be screened on April 8 at 10 a.m. at Landmark Cinemas Shawnessy.
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