Marcus Wehrenberg continues Cans Film Festival holiday tradition Saturday

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The newly renovated Ronnie's Cine

Marcus Wehrenberg Theatres is continuing the Cans Holiday Film Festival canned food drive, a St. Louis holiday tradition started by Wehrenberg Theatres.

The Salvation Army is teaming up with the movie-theater chain and its movie theaters around the region Saturday, Dec. 2, for the annual event, which helps restock the Salvation Army’s food pantries during a critical time of need.

Ronnie’s 20 Cinema, 5320 S. Lindbergh Blvd., is one of the dropoff locations that will collect donations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, along with theaters throughout Missouri and the St. Louis region.

Those who donate five or more cans will receive a free ticket to a classic holiday film showing Saturday, along with a buy-one, get-one-free voucher for a holiday film the next week.

The event traditionally served as a kickoff to the holiday season and has provided more than 100,000 meals to people in the community each year and supports the Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights campaign, according to a news release.

Locations include:

·         Ronnie’s Cinema, 5320 S. Lindbergh Blvd. —  south county.
·         Arnold Cinema, 1912 Richardson Road — Arnold.
·         Cape West Cine —  Cape Girardeau.
·         Chesterfield Cinema —  Chesterfield.
·         Des Peres Cinema, 12701 Manchester Road — Des Peres.
·         Eagles’ Landing Cinema — Lake Ozark.
·         Mid Rivers Cinema —  St. Peters.
·         O’Fallon Cinema —  O’Fallon, Ill.
·         St. Charles Cinema —  St. Charles.
·         Town Square Cinema —  Dardenne Prairie.

The food drive will be different than past years while keeping the same mission to provide food for needy families. Anyone who donates more than five canned goods to help stock the Salvation Army’s food pantries Saturday will get to enjoy a free holiday film classic at the movie theater in exchange. Donations and vouchers are per person. The three films patrons can select from are “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Elf” and “The Polar Express.” Donors can choose from showtimes throughout the day and in the evening.

Guests who donate five or more items will also receive a buy-one, get-one-free voucher for a selection of holiday films showing next week for $5 a ticket. Those films are “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “A Christmas Story” and “White Christmas.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Salvation Army,” Marcus Theatres CEO Rolando Rodriguez stated in a news release. “In the fight against hunger, every can counts. Beyond receiving a free holiday film, we hope the community continues to embrace this as an opportunity to help those less fortunate when they need it the most.”

Typically, the drive has stocked 80 percent of the 100,000 cans of food the Salvation Army gives out throughout the year, according to Salvation Army Midland Divisional Commander Lt. Col. Dan Jennings. The donations last well into the summer months.

“We thank the community for their generous support of this program in the past and hope to see everyone Dec. 2,” Jennings said in the release. “Whether giving five cans or 50 cans, your donation makes a difference.”

Marcus Theatres acquired Wehrenberg officially starting this year. The new format of the holiday drive means that the first-run movie vouchers that past participants received for donating are a thing of the past, according to the news release.

In south county, those donating will get the added perk of seeing their free film from the new DreamLounger recliners in the newly renovated Ronnie’s.

For a complete list of participating locations throughout the circuit as well as showtimes, visit www.marcustheatres.com/cans.