Palm Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo was one of many movie theaters nationwide to show the original “1984” film on April 4 in protest of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts for national arts programs. The film is based on George Orwell’s fiction tale of totalitarian government.
Palm Theatre made $1,000 in ticket sales, which will all be donated to the local Planned Parenthood.
The movement was started by movie theatre owners Dylan Skolnick in New York and Adam Birnbaum in Connecticut who are good friends of Jim Dee, the owner of the Palm Theatre. Not a single movie theatre in the country made a profit from this event and all are donating their proceeds to charities and nonprofit groups.
“Without funding people don’t have the opportunity to learn about the arts: filmmaking, dance or sculpture,” Dee said. “We’re not only enriched by art, it’s a job creator. Without the constant influx of movies, I wouldn’t be here.”
Many have said “1984” relates to the Trump administration as there have been problems with fake news, alternative facts and fear. Though the national event was an attempt to relate the film to the Trump administration, Dee was simply trying to start a conversation within the San Luis Obispo community.
“I’d like to think that Trump supporters come and see this movie,” Dee said. “I’d like to think of a movie theatre as a neutral place, where people can come if they are Republican or Democrat, whatever they are, they can come watch a movie and enjoy it.”
There was a line down the street to purchase tickets for the movie that was screened at 4:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m on April 4. Though the event was screened in protest, many just wanted to see the movie for the first time.
“The owner has been around a long time and he knows who his people are. If he loses 10 people, then that’s that, but he is gaining more,” movie go-er Jennifer Best said.