Very rarely would the Historic West Theatre in Green Bay be confused with Los Angeles' famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the home of more Hollywood movie premieres than any other theater. On Wednesday night, however, the Green Bay Packers and New Line Cinema hosted the Midwest premiere of I Am Sam at the Historic West Theatre with all of the proceeds going to N.E.W. Curative Rehabilitation, Inc.
Adorned in black and gold decorations, the Historic West Theatre exposed Green Bay's version of Hollywood complete with a red carpet at the entrance. With close to 200 people attending the premiere, more than $10,000 was raised for charity.
The event began at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction. Movie scripts autographed by Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeifer along with movie posters and authentic Packer items were bid upon. The movie was shown an hour later and was followed by the silent auction announcements and remarks from producer Richard Solomon and John Bloor, the director of N.E.W. Creative Rehabilitation, Inc.
The movie features Sean Penn as Sam Dawson, a mentally challenged father fighting to keep custody of his young daughter. Michelle Pfeifer plays attorney Rita Harrison, who forms an unlikely alliance with Sam to fight the legal system. The movie also features Dakota Fanning, Diane Wiest and Laura Dern.
Andrew Brandt, vice president of player finance and general counsel for the Packers, was the connecting link that enabled Green Bay to host this premiere. Solomon, a lifelong Packers fan, and Brandt have a close mutual friend and when plans for the premier were being developed, Solomon called on his Packers' contact.
"I'm a huge Packers fan and I thought it would be great to tie in my new movie and my love for the Packers," Solomon said. "What better way to celebrate the Midwest premiere of this special movie than to have it in the heart of Packers country."
Proceeds from the premiere will go to N.E.W. Curative Rehabilitation, which provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to people with disabilities, the elderly and underprivileged.