Hundreds of local youths given free "Black Panther" movie ticket - - Jackson, MS

Hundreds of local youths given free "Black Panther" movie tickets

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI (Mississippi News Now) -

The weekend premier of "Black Panther" is making history, and some people locally are making sure no one misses out on the moment.

A line snaked all the way around Cinemark Tinseltown in Pearl Saturday morning for the movie showing.

Octavia Spencer, the first black actress to receive two consecutive Academy Award nominations, wanted to make sure no one missed out on the film.

She bought out three showings of the movie in Pearl, and had the tickets handed out for free.

READ MORE: Octavia Spencer Sponsors Free Black Panther Movie for Area Youth

People arrived as early as six in the morning - partially for those free tickets, of course, but also for the experience and the memory.

"Now we've got somebody on TV, basically representing us, so it's an honor to be here," said D'mya Harper, who arrived at the theater with family and friends at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, hoping to catch free tickets.

In Vicksburg, Troy Stewart and five of his friends set up a GoFundMe to buy out the B&B theater to provide a free private screening for almost 150 children.

"We are actually just trying to get a bunch of area kids to come and witness history," said Stewart. "We did all we could to get community support. We didn't have to do much. It was after 24 hours and we more than doubled our goal."

READ MORE: Black Panther screening Saturday for Vicksburg Teens

But, over at Cinema 4 in Brookhaven, the movie drew a much less welcoming crowd.

A local religious group was caught Friday night on Facebook Live shouting, "You're going to burn in hell!" at people leaving Friday's premier of Black Panther.

"I'm like, 'What does religion have to do with a good movie?' They didn't protest like this when 50 Shades came out," said the man who filmed the Facebook live.

The Brookhaven Police Department says the protesters gather frequently, and are restricted to public property like the sidewalk by the movie theater.

But they still put a damper on the event.

It's things like that protest that Shawn Jackson is speaking out against, trying to empower local youth.

"Don't start with the notion of being second. Start with the notion of being first," said Jackson, addressing the dozens of teenagers who came to the private screening in Vicksburg.

Jackson gave a presentation ahead of the movie showing.

"I'm going to be speaking about a couple of key concepts. One in particular is not being afraid to dream big. Not being embarrassed of humble beginnings," said Jackson.

So far, Black Panther is on track to be one of the highest grossing Marvel films.

It has an A+ rating on CinemaScore, and a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes - the highest of any superhero film.

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