History Comes Alive

Where Austin-area students can see MLK drama Selma for free

Where Austin-area students can see MLK drama Selma for free

David Oyelowo in Selma
Seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students can now see Selma for free at select Dallas-area theaters. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima

Thanks to the generous contributions by many of the country’s most prominent African-American business leaders, students in the Austin area can see Selma, the stellar film about MLK's push for racial equality in Selma, Alabama, for free — just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 19).

Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners in Austin is leading the charge to allow seventh, eighth and ninth grade students to get free admission at Regal Westgate Cinema 11. 

All students have to do is show a current student ID or report card at any of the theaters' box offices to claim the deal. Tickets are limited, though, so it's best to go sooner rather than later. Teachers who want to take a whole class to see Selma can contact the group sales departments at the theater.


Austin and 11 other cities join Dallas, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco and others in the program that has been underwritten by African-American business leaders in each respective city.

"It is of the utmost importance to expose our young people to the courage, compassion and integrity that is brought to life in the film Selma. It illuminates a period of American history that is very relevant today," said Smith. "Dr. King has been a source of inspiration for me and for many people of all races and ethnicities. I consider this not just an opportunity, but a responsibility, to bring his message and his dream to the students of Austin."

Selma won one Golden Globe award — Best Song for "Glory" by Common and John Legend — and received two Academy Awards nominations on Thursday, January 15.