How 'Wakanda Forever' could save lives in Richmond

Posted at 6:57 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 14:46:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Black Panther fans have been waiting since 2018 to see their favorite superheroes in theaters again. In an effort to help more children experience "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" some Richmond nonprofits rented out entire movie theaters for special Black Panther viewing parties.

"I'm a fan of all of the Marvel characters, but this one is special to me because I see myself in Wakanda," Black Panther fan Sheneida Lee said.

Lee is not alone. So many people wanted to see the new Black Panther that the movie earned $180 million in ticket sales, topping the box office when it opened.

Adding to the ticket sales, were Richmond organizations that rented out theaters for kids.

"We did three theaters and about 400 people were here, so it was a little hectic," Pastor Mike Jones, who also serves on Richmond City Council, said.

To commemorate the movie's debut, some fans dressed as superheroes.

RVA Avengers dazzled and entertained spectators in the lobby of Movieland At Boulevard Square.

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"We wanted the kids when they come out to the theater to take pictures and have fun."

Some made the most of the opportunity to bring Central Virginia closer together.

Jones gave free show tickets to people who did nice things for others.

"Kindness and compassion is everyone's superpower," Jones said. "So we just had everyone doing everyday heroic acts and that's how they got tickets."

The premiere also served as a good time to remind fans to take care of their bodies.

Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died in 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer.

"He was a good man in life and honoring his legacy makes it that much more important," Lee said. "I'm a breast cancer survivor and I was also born the same year as Chadwick Boseman so his passing kind of touched me in a deeper way because I was blessed to have made it and it was sad that he didn't."

"Taking care of yourself and making sure that you're the best you that you can be, that's a heroic act. You can't help this world unless you are the best person that you can be."

Congressman Donald McEachin (D - Richmond) shared his personal health battles in a packed theater.

"I can't stress to you enough the importance of early detection," McEachin said. "I know many of you have watched my journey and I've had a number of health issues. Nearly every one of the issues he's had is related to the radiation he had to deal with my colon cancer, my rectal cancer actually."

He urged the crowd to get regular exams.

Congressman Donald McEachin (D - Richmond)

"Don't fool around. Don't go through my journey. Go to the doctor," McEachin said.

The good deeds and fanfare are perhaps proof that Black Panther is more than just a movie. The film and its characters remain an inspiration for many.

Watch Candace Burns' "Our RVA" reports Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 4 and 6 p.m. If you know someone Candace should feature, email her at

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