EAGAN, Minn. — Juneteenth on June 19 is just a couple of weeks away and a movie theater isn't waiting until then to celebrate.
As of Friday, Emagine Entertainment is showing movies starring Black actors, directors and other filmmakers at Emagine Eagan and Emagine Willow Creek for $5 per ticket. The festival runs through the end of June.
Juneteenth not only marks the end of U.S. slavery, but it also celebrates Black culture and achievements.
"I think it's great," moviegoer Sumaya Abdullahi said after exiting the Eagan theater Friday. "It would be great to get some marketing material so people know they're playing that, but it's good. It's amazing that people are celebrating Juneteenth now because it wasn't really a thing that was celebrated by the masses. It should be."
Emagine's director of operations, Mike Wedel, says the company is committed to diversity and inclusion. In fact, Emagine plans to donate all of the proceeds from this film festival to the United Negro College Fund.
"We didn't want this to be just putting Juneteenth on the website as like a gimmick," Wedel said. "Emagine has pledged to donate a minimum of $10,000 regardless of how much comes in."
A spokesperson said Emagine did a similar Juneteenth Film Festival in Michigan, but said this is the first time in Minnesota.
In Eagan and Plymouth, they're kicking off with showings of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "Do the Right Thing," as each week of the month-long festival features two different films. For the complete schedule, click here.
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