Cities Across the Country Will Hold Free Screenings of ‘Hidden Figures’ in Celebration of Black History Month


The story of three relatively unknown black female mathematicians at NASA who played key roles in the Space Race of the early 1960s, Hidden Figures took box offices by storm when it was released at the end of 2016. Its opening weekend even beat Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, bringing in $22.8 million, and the film — based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly and starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe — has been nominated for dozens of awards, including a Best Picture Oscar. (A recent win for best ensemble performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards produced this incredible and much-shared photo of the central trio.)

Now, Deadline reports, 20th Century Fox and AMC Theaters are showing some love for the film by hosting free 10 a.m. screenings in 14 U.S. cities this Saturday, February 18 in honor of Black History Month. Residents of Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; the Bronx, NY; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Oakland, CA; St. Louis, MO; Miami, FL; and Washington, DC can reserve tickets on a first-come, first-served basis on AMC’s website.

The offer is indicative of the huge success of Hidden Figures, which has so far generated over $130 million at the domestic box office, and nearly $145 million worldwide. Those numbers suggest a collective craving for uplifting stories about black Americans — specifically black women — who are so often cast aside in official historical narratives. Since the film’s release, several organizations have hosted charity screenings to encourage young people to take an interest in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“As we celebrate Black History Month and look ahead to Women’s History Month in March, this story of empowerment and perseverance is more relevant than ever,” Liba Rubenstein, 21st Century Fox’s SVP of Social Impact, said in a statement. “We at 21CF were inspired by the grassroots movement to bring this film to audiences that wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it – audiences that might include future innovators and barrier-breakers – and we wanted to support and extend that movement.”

If your city’s screening is full, as many of them already are, you can request that AMC add a screening in your town for your school, community group, or non-profit organization here; the deadline is February 28.