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Feelgood story of the day (update)
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, May 12, 2007

If you live in or near Marietta GA and you're thinking of taking in a movie anytime soon, do yourself a favor and patronize the Georgia Theatre Company's Park 12 Stadium Cinemas there.

Why? Because they gave a damn:
Dan Peterson wanted to do something special for his son's 10th birthday Friday, and who could blame him?

His son, Justin, had endured three years of chemotherapy, and then his leukemia returned last fall. A bone marrow transplant in February brightened his long-term prospects but left Dad in a quandary as the birthday approached.

The boy's immune system is so weak that just being around other people leaves him vulnerable to infection. He doesn't go outside his Marietta house much, and when he does he has to wear a mask. That put a crimp in his parents' plans for his birthday.

"Can we play miniature golf?" Justin asked as the big day approached.

Too risky, doctors said.

Could some friends drop by from Fellowship Christian School in Ros-well?

Sorry.

"Well what can we do?" he finally asked.

Then his dad got an idea. Maybe —- somehow —- he could arrange for his son to see "Spider-Man 3."
Anybody ... what's the hottest, biggest money-making film of the moment? Yup ... "Spider-Man 3". And what would have been the easiest thing for the manager of the Park 12 Stadium Cinemas to have said?

"Sorry, we just can't do that".

But they didn't. In fact it apparently never entered their minds:
Dan Peterson drove to the Georgia Theatre Company's Park 12 Stadium Cinemas in Marietta to ask an extraordinary favor of assistant manager Sarah Martinez.

Justin's mom, Michele, already had told the boy that they probably would have to wait for the DVD, but his father figured there was no harm pitching his idea to Martinez.

"Do you think there's any way my boy might be able to see 'Spider-Man 3'?" he asked. "And could you make sure there's no one else in the theater? He can't be in crowds. It's dangerous."

Martinez asked her boss, Christopher James, the theater's general manager.

James didn't blink.

"We knew he'd always remember this, and we wanted to create that memory," James said. "It was the least we could do."
The effect? Electric:
Justin was so excited Thursday that he had trouble sleeping. He kept wondering about the plot: Would any of the main characters die? Who would survive to fight another day if there's a "Spider-Man 4"?

Justin awoke Friday morning and pulled on a brand-new bright red Spider-Man T-shirt. His dad drove him to the theater.

James and his staff had arrived early to prepare for a 10 a.m. screening —- just for Justin and his dad.

He's a shy boy —- doesn't talk much —- but Justin did have one question for his father.

"If I have to go to the bathroom," Justin asked, "will they stop the movie?"

His dad told him not to worry.

They settled down side by side in the middle of Row 11, surrounded by empty seats.

The theater lights dimmed. The opening credits rolled. Soon, there was Spider-Man, twirling and climbing all over the big screen, fighting for justice against the villainous likes of Sandman, Venom and New Goblin.

Justin watched wide-eyed and rapt. Just like any other 10-year-old boy.
A tip of the hat to Christopher James and the folks at the Georgia Theatre Company's Park 12 Stadium Cinemas in Marietta GA. What you did was outstanding and you made a little boy who has suffered quite a bit in his 10 years of life the happiest kid on the planet on his birthday.

Thank you.

UPDATE: Justin's dad, Dan, leaves a comment:
Hey there-

This is Dan Peterson, the little boy’s dad. You all are awesome. All I wanted was a good day for my kid, and that’s exactly what we got...and then some. I was amazed the theater came through. I called the press so that they’d get a little publicity...they never asked for it. You all are right on for being impressed. I’m quire impressed myself. Please patronize them if you get a chance. They’re great folks.

Thanks much-

Dan
Dan, we're glad to spread the word, but more importantly we're very glad Justin had a great day. Give him our love.

You can visit Dan's blog about Justin here.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I am about to go see a movie right now. I was going to go to a theatre here in Lawrenceville, but now I think I can work it into my schedule to make the drive to Marietta.
 
Written By: Dustin Vines
URL: http://
You’re a good man, Dustin.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The folks at the theater did one helluva nice thing. I rarely go to movies anymore (mainly because the prices are crazy) but I’ll have to remember that theater the next time I make plans to go.
 
Written By: zonker
URL: http://thundernroses.typepad.com/
I am tempted to fly there to go to a movie...

A wonderful business, run by an equally wonderful man.
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Hey there-

This is Dan Peterson, the little boy’s dad. You all are awesome. All I wanted was a good day for my kid, and that’s exactly what we got...and then some. I was amazed the theater came through. I called the press so that they’d get a little publicity...they never asked for it. You all are right on for being impressed. I’m quire impressed myself. Please patronize them if you get a chance. They’re great folks.

Thanks much-

Dan
 
Written By: Dan Peterson
URL: http://www.welovejustin.com
Couple of points...
Jason’s dad, Dan, leaves a comment
and
Dan, we’re glad to spread the word, but more importantly we’re very glad Jason had a great day. Give him our love.

You can visit Dan’s blog about Jason here.
Justin... His name is Justin...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Justin... His name is Justin...
Never do updates at midnight.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You’re just jelouse people can remember his name... ;)
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://

 
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