Advanced screenings of 'The Color Purple' held in Milwaukee area

NOW: Advanced screenings of ’The Color Purple’ held in Milwaukee area

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- One of the most anticipated movies of the year is coming to theaters this holiday. Before it does, some got the chance to experience it a little early.

"The Color Purple" first came out in 1985. It's a classic, but the 2023 remake is expected to bring big crowds to see it on the big screen.

Based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker, some say "The Color Purple" is a story about sisterhood.

Asha Sawyers with MKE Black says "The Color Purple" holds a powerful message. "The book tells a story that is so familiar, it's so raw, it's so true, and it hits home in our culture," she said.

After the book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983, Steven Spielberg adapted it into a movie starring big names like Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.

"The book tells you a message and then the original movie tells that message and adds something to it," said Sawyers.

MKE Black hosted a special screening of the new movie on Friday night in Mequon, and the tickets quickly sold out. "To see so much energy around wanting to see the movie and then to be able to bring it to Milwaukee early it's really been pretty special," Sawyers said.

The new cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino, and Danielle Brooks. It covers some heavy themes like the original and pulls from the Broadway musical adaptation.

"It's just more impactful I think to see it in the new light and to see it in a more modern way. Especially having younger folks see it and get something out of it," said Solana Patterson-Ramos with MKE Black. Patterson-Ramos says attendees of their screening really enjoyed the film.

Several advanced screenings have been held the last few weeks across the country.

Another screening held locally was hosted in Brookfield by Alisha Hayes, someone very close to the film. "I'm very excited about the film. Very excited to support the film and support my auntie who happens to be Oprah. I'm more excited because all these people want to come and celebrate her with me," said Hayes.

Oprah is one of the film's producers. Hayes recalls seeing the original film with her family in Milwaukee when she was a kid. "When I saw her on the screen is when it hit me. I'm looking at her who's next to me and then she's on the screen and I'm just like 'auntie you're on the screen!'"

Hayes says this latest adaptation breathes new life into the story.

"I just got back from Washington, D.C. and I did have a chance to see it at the Oprah Winfrey theater at the Smithsonian," she said. Hayes encourages everyone to head to theaters on release day.

The Color Purple hits theaters across the country on Christmas Day. 

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