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A good neighbor

Benefactor to pay admission to ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ at the Webster Theater

A local benefactor wants to share the joys of kindness and being a good neighbor. That person is offering a Christmas gift to area movie goers.

Webster Theater Manager Ann McLaughlin said she was “pleasantly surprised” when she was approached by a local resident last Saturday. They told her they would like to pay for every admission during the upcoming run of the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers. The film takes a nostalgic look at Mr. Roger’s classic children’s program which aired from 1968 through 2001.

“Anyone who comes to the movie, will get in free,” McLaughlin said. The movie will be shown Dec. 20 and 21 at 7 p.m., Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 24 at 2 p.m.; Dec. 25 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

And who is this generous benefactor? McLaughlin has been sworn to secrecy. The person wishes to remain anonymous.

“Not even the HERO board knows who it is,” she said.

“The idea is this person really thinks highly of Mr. Rogers – he was kind of a hero growing up. The person wanted to something special, to be a good neighbor,” McLaughlin said.

“The donor asked me what the largest turnout for a movie has been and I told them around 1,000,” McLaughlin said. “And the donor said, “We’ll gosh, let’s hope we can get more than that into A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and show what kind of good neighbors we can be.'”

In keeping with that generosity, The Webster Theater is encouraging members of the community to donate nonperishable food items for the local food pantries. Patrons attending the movie can bring an item or two to add to the food drive, McLaughlin said.

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