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Highly-anticipated “Black Panther” premiere sees large turnout from community

Ishmael Solomon, assistant director of Multicultural Student Life, wondered whether he would ever get the chance to see the iconic Marvel superhero from his childhood, Black Panther, appear on the big screen.

Recently, Solomon’s dream came true. He and over sixty other Saint Vincent College students and faculty gathered at the Latrobe 30 Theatre for the highly anticipated premier of “Black Panther” on Feb. 15.

Solomon said that this movie is a huge step for Marvel and that he felt everyone who attended from Saint Vincent enjoyed the film.

“It was a very positive atmosphere and a good experience for everyone, with a very diverse crowd,” Solomon said.

To see a black superhero, Solomon said, was a “truly awesome” experience.

The event was sponsored by the Activity Programming Board, who bought out the theatre for the showing and sold discounted tickets for $5.

Lukas Goehring, a sophomore finance major who planned the event, said that APB had the idea for such an event months in advance.

“This [event] reached out to all students. It’s Black History Month, which really helped get the word out there that this is a big deal. It reached a variety of people too, which is great because that’s what our goal is,” Goehring said.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther” is the first Marvel film to feature a black superhero as the lead. The film broke the record for opening weekend tickets sales for a film with a black director, and was the fifth biggest opening weekend for any film ($201.8 million).

Across the country, the #BlackPantherChallenge inspired businesses and various organizations to buy out tickets for the film’s premiere and then attend en masse, similar to APB’s event.

Caroline Colcombe, senior psychology education major and APB president, said that significantly more students attended the “Black Panther” showing as well as the showing of “The Great Debaters” on Feb. 7 than the typical turnout for APB movie showings.

Colcombe stated that APB’s goal is to reach out to students of all backgrounds, and that the events “provided the ability for everyone to come together.”

Solomon felt that the film had an inspirational impact, given that it featured a predominantly black cast and had a black director.

“I think I got more of an appreciation for the cast, the powerful personalities, and the influence they have to inspire other students of various ages, backgrounds, race or gender,” Solomon said. “It was just something different in a very positive way.”

Photos:; SVC Review Twitter

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