‘The Hollars’ will play here

Published 5:55 pm Saturday, September 24, 2016

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates the Westbrook theater on Brookway Boulevard, decided the movie that was filmed here should play here.

“We are excited to announce that UA Westbrook 4 will be showing ‘The Hollars’ on Friday, Sept. 30,” said Regal spokesman Chris Newman.

However, there’s no word from Regal on the movie’s showtimes and whether it will play more than the one day.

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“The Hollars,” starring John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Richard Jenkins and Josh Groban, is about a dysfunctional family dealing with a terminally-ill mother.

Krasinski not only stars in the movie, which was filmed around Brookhaven two years ago, but also directs and serves as one of the producers.

Another of the movie’s producers, Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, said he and Krasinski as well as Sony Pictures Classics had tried to convince Regal to show the movie in Brookhaven. “The Hollars” is playing in 150 United Artist and Regal theaters nationwide, but wasn’t scheduled for Brookhaven.

“I would encourage everybody to go by this theater and let them know they want to see this movie,” he said Thursday. “The only way you change Regal’s mind is for Regal to understand the mind of the community.”

It must have worked. Rice posted on The Daily Leader’s Facebook page Friday: “The people of Brookhaven made an impact. Regal just agreed to open the film next Friday, Sept. 30. Great work. The power of the people!”

Rice said many people contacted theater management and voiced their displeasure at not being able to see the movie that was filmed in Lincoln County.

“I’m so thrilled that the people of Brookhaven are supporting this film in such a way that changed Regal’s mind,” Rice said Friday. “I’m really thrilled that this film will be there next week, and if everyone in Brookhaven loves this movie just half as much as my parents do, we’ll be in good shape!”

Krasinski plays the main character John, a graphic novelist living in Manhattan with his pregnant girlfriend (Kendrick) who is a pet-clothing designer.

Because mom Sally (Martindale) is in the hospital, many scenes were shot at King’s Daughters Medical Center, which is Knight County Hospital in the film.

The movie includes several shots of the hospital lobby, the operating room and a hospital room.

“KDMC is very excited that ‘The Hollars’ will be at Westbrook Cinema,” said hospital spokesman David Culpepper. “With so much of the film shot at KDMC and in Brookhaven, it is a great opportunity for those who have parts in the film to be able to watch here at home with family and friends.

“Please let the management at Westbrook know that you appreciate them showing the film and urge them to add dates to the showing.”

Jan Thurman, a KDMC employee who was an extra in the film, saw it in March at an indy film fest in Jackson. She gives it two thumbs up. “What I really enjoyed was seeing my co-workers and other Brookhavenites — especially Millard Smith — on the big screen. Be prepared to laugh, cry and then repeat. It is a really enjoyable movie and one that all ages can enjoy,” she said.

Sadly, Smith, the retired owner of Sunflower Grocery Stores, died in 2015 before the movie made it to Brookhaven.

“I’ve known him all my life and he had a great part sitting in a wheelchair as the characters enter the hospital toward the end of the movie,” she said.

Thurman plans to see the movie again.

“I’m so excited to hear that ‘The Hollars’ will be showing in Brookhaven,” she said. “Thank you Regal for making this excellent decision. As an employee of King’s Daughters, I had an opportunity to meet and visit daily with the actors and actresses who were filming. It was a definite bucket list check-off for me. I’m so proud to tell everyone that this movie highlights my beloved home town of Brookhaven and King’s Daughters Medical Center.”

Drew Yawn made his acting debut in the movie, though his part was limited to walking past Janie’s bakery as Krasinski and other characters are walking in.

“It was just cool just being a part of it,” he said.

Yawn works offshore and will be leaving Monday and won’t get to see it. “It will be something to look forward to whenever I get back,” he said. “I hope they play it more than once.”