CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — With the day off from school, 300 Chicago Public School students were treated to see Black Panther at a Chatham movie theater.

The lobby of the Studio Movie Grill was full of students, including at least one fan dressed like the main character and some wearing bright African patterns.

Members of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association such as Yolanda Travis Mack helped pay for the private screening.

She hopes the movie sends a message to young African-American children that they can be whatever they want to be.

Troy Pryor, who works to give new filmmakers access to production resources, said he thinks the movie will be a turning point for an industry that hasn’t always featured black characters in a positive light.

Pryor’s group, Creative Cypher, and other non-profits such as Be Super, Royal and Spoken Cafe also sponsored the event.

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Fan dresses as Black Panther for moving screening. (Photo: Nancy Harty/WBBM)

 

After the movie, there was a panel discussion about careers in the film industry.

Organizers said they were able to add another showing thanks to a donation of 150 tickets from comedian and Chicago native, Craig Robinson.