photo courtesy of Jorge Simonet.

Watch a Free Screening of ‘The Color Purple’ with the Men of Change

Looking for something entertaining AND educational to do this Saturday? The Men of Change invite you to come up to the Marquee Cinema at The Highlands to enjoy a free screening of The Color Purple at 6:00 pm. Along with the free tickets, you will also receive a complimentary small combo of a drink and popcorn.

The screening is one of several outreach activities planned as part of the Men of Change Youth Mentoring Program. With support from the Benedum Foundation, the group is hoping to expose at-risk youth to diverse opportunities and experiences. Men of Change member Ron Scott explains, “The idea behind this program is to show these kids different things – from different career paths, to financial literacy, to different forms of entertainment like attending a film. We just want to provide opportunities for kids that might not otherwise be exposed to this kind of stuff to experience it firsthand, and this film has a great message for the kids we’re working with”.

The Color Purple is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker. The Color Purple centers around the life of Celie Harris, a young Black woman growing up in rural Georgia in the early 1900’s. The story follows Celie as she grows up, showing the struggles of Black womanhood and the Black community. The film does the important work of showcasing Black history and how those struggles impact society today.

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The book was turned into an Academy Award nominated film by Steven Spielberg. By 2005 it had been adapted into a musical that featured on Broadway. In 2015 it was re-staged on Broadway, where it won several Tony’s. It was from this successful run that the new film, a musical version, was born. So it’s a movie-musical, based on a musical, based on a film, based on a book.

The film stars Fantasia as Celie. It also features performances by Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Halle Bailey, and H.E.R., and many more!

The showing starts at 6:00, but be sure to come a bit early to have time to get your popcorn, watch the trailers (if you’re into that), and chat with The Men of Change. There is only one screening happening at this time, so when you walk up to the ticket window all you need to do is say you’re there for the Men of Change program.

The Men of Change Youth Mentoring Program aims to support at-risk older adolescents in the Wheeling community. If you would like to get involved, make a donation, or have a child that would benefit from the program, email

Makayla Carney, a Wheeling native, is the 2023-2024 AmeriCorps member for Wheeling Heritage, where she will get to write all about the history and culture of her hometown. She has a B.F.A. in Film and Television from DePaul University in Chicago. She adores all kinds of art, a lavender latte, and the occasional performance on the Towngate Theatre stage.