photo of movie theater seats
Photo from NextAct Cinemas Instagram Page

Pluto TV will is offering free showings of select movies this weekend at Pikesville’s NextAct Cinema, Maryland’s only Black-owned movie theater.

The free movie weekend, June 24-25, is part of the free streaming television service’s ongoing support of independent theaters.

According to the press announcement, this weekend only, all screenings of “The Flash” and “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” at the Pikesville theater will be completely free. There will also be complimentary Pluto TV swag and free popcorn.

NextAct Cinema is an independent, family-owned boutique theater that took over an old 1930s-era art deco theater in Pikesville in 2018. The theater has gained a community of more than 10,000 followers and national recognition, including being featured in the Washington Post, HuffPost, and Blavity.

The Washington Post profile details the lengths to which co-owners Anthony Fykes and Robert Wright went to make their venture come to life. Neither had experience in the business, and no bank would lend them the money they needed to renovate the theater. “So the duo put their own savings into the business and enlisted investors.” The article quotes Fykes saying, “We convinced ourselves that despite the risks, the community would make it work.” He was right.

Pluto TV’s free movie weekend initiative “is designed in the theme of conducting good business karma,” reads the press announcement. Pluto prides itself on being a free TV streaming service, and sets out “to help independent theaters across the U.S. by providing them with funds to host a free movie weekend.”

They began the initiative during the summer of 2021 to help theaters re-open during the pandemic, but it has continued as an ongoing yearly initiative. This year, Pluto TV employees nominated hometown theaters for consideration in the program, and encourage communities to support their local independent theaters and celebrate their love for film.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Showtimes are listed below, and the theater is located at 921 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. You can book tickets by clicking this link.

Saturday, June 24

  • “The Flash”: 2:15pm, 5:30pm, 8:45pm
  • “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”: 1:15pm, 4:15pm, 7:15pm

Sunday, June 25

  • “The Flash”: 12:15pm, 3:40pm, 7pm
  • “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”: 1:15pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm