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.

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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.

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

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.

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