Feel like catching a movie? Yelm Cinemas is offering a chance to do some good while watching one of two entertaining movies. 

Yelm Cinemas is teaming up with the Yelm Midday Lions Club, Timberland Bank and the Nisqually Valley News for its toy drive and free movie. It is the sixth year they’ve held the event and for the first time attendees have two options to choose from.

Families or individuals can bring an unwrapped, new toy to the cinemas. In exchange, they’ll be able to watch either of the films for free before the cinema’s normal operating hours.

The event starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 with “Fred Claus” starting at 9 a.m. and “A Christmas Carol” starting at 9:10 a.m. Previous years have seen around 100 to 150 people. The film can be shown on more than one screen at once, so if one theater fills up, they’ll open up another one.

All the toys will be donated to Yelm Community Services, which will distribute them to families in need.

“The Lions Club has always been active in the community and the focus of the Midday Branch is local children,” said Yelm Midday Lions Club President Beatrix Austin. “It is an event that people look forward to. Some kids might not have a chance to go to the movie theater. This allows them to come to the movie, wear pajamas, get their picture taken with Santa and get a free snack pack. This is something special for them to kick off their winter break.”

Yelm Cinemas rents the movie and provides staff and the facility. Timberland Bank has donated funds for the snack packs where every kid gets free popcorn, pop and candy. The Nisqually Valley News donates advertising to promote the event.

“When you see the children taking pictures with Santa, it’s a special event for them that they’ll always remember,” Austin said. “We, as a club, are very excited. The (cinemas) employees are usually just delighted to see the children. It’s a win-win for everyone, and a special holiday thing for us all.”

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