IOWA FALLS — International movie star and Oscar-nominated actor Hugh Jackman will host the grand reopening of the historic Metropolitan Theatre in Iowa Falls on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The event will feature the North American premiere of Jackman’s newest film, “Prisoners,” and his 2013 summer blockbuster sequel, “The Wolverine.”
New theater owner John P. Whitesell of Iowa Falls will oversee the reopening, which will showcase the Met’s upgraded interior and digital projection system.
How did the theater snag Jackman for its opening?
Theater publicist Mark Hamilton said Whitesell’s son, Patrick, is Jackman’s Los Angeles agent and a close family friend.
Hamilton said details about Jackman’s public schedule are still being worked out.
The news broke in Iowa Falls on Wednesday in the local newspaper and on the local radio station.
“The town is just abuzz. It’s going to be quite the event. The town is pretty darn excited,” Hamilton said.
A retired local attorney, Whitesell has a long history with the Met and performed in several of its theater productions over the past five decades.
The grand reopening will benefit the Ellsworth Hospital Foundation in Iowa Falls. All proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of new patient-care equipment for Ellsworth Municipal Hospital.
Tickets are available in two ways:
One hundred tickets to “Prisoners” will be available for $100 each. They will be sold at the Iowa Falls Chamber/Main Street offices, 520 Rocksylvania Ave., from 12 to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, on a first come, first- served basis. Buyers will be limited to four tickets per family or organization. Checks should be made payable to the Ellsworth Hospital Foundation.
Tickets will also be made available to both movies through a raffle. Beginning this Thursday, the public can purchase $25 raffle tickets at the Iowa Falls locations of Green Belt Bank & Trust, Iowa Falls State Bank and Ackley State Bank.
Raffle tickets are available for both “Prisoners” and “The Wolverine,” but buyers must specify at the time of purchase which movie they are choosing. Winners of the raffle will receive two movie tickets per raffle ticket.
Raffle ticket sales will begin Thursday and close at noon on Thursday, Sept. 19. Winning tickets will be drawn at 1 p.m. in the Met lobby.