A few community members — including local students — had the chance to catch the movie version of the Broadway hit In the Heights at the Winspear Opera House in an event organizers said was “an incredible gift.”
The screening of the movie, which opened in movie theaters and on HBO Max this month, was made possible by Dallas-based AT&T, which made 1,500 seats available to the public, free of charge.
“AT&T has been such an outstanding partner to the Center, to the arts and for Dallas,” said Debbie Storey, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “This screening of In the Heights was an incredible gift that brought a broad cross-section of our diverse city into the Winspear Opera House. We’re so proud to be a part of it.”
Thanks to the generosity of AT&T, the center was able to include a large number of its education and community partners groups. These groups include the Wilkinson Center, Resource Center, Voice of Hope, Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts, Wylie High School, Young Women’s Preparatory Network, The Hockaday School, and Los Unidos Barrios Community Clinic.
“The families were overwhelmed with joy to finally go out and experience community togetherness at the Winspear,” said Debbie Solís with the West Dallas-based nonprofit Voice of Hope. “Lots of laughter and memories made last night. Thank you for your inclusion of West Dallas families.”
Moviegoers were also treated to a pre-movie Patio Sessions concert outside the Center Café in Sammons Park. The Center is presenting free Patio Sessions concerts featuring local artists on the third Thursday of each month through the summer.
These are sponsored by Dallas ad agency, ABI – Alpha Business Images. Patrons can purchase food and drinks, enjoy patio seating, games, and putt-putt golf on the Reliant Putting Green. Wednesday’s special Patio Sessions featured the group Ariel & the Culture.
“So many people showed up early for Patio Sessions, and the huge audience inside for the film was just ecstatic,” said Storey. “It’s clear everyone is more than ready to get back into theatres with family and friends and experience the performing arts and movies the way they should be experienced – together! The whole evening was just incredible.”