Film opens here, nationwide April 16
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
With 10 showings of the “Heaven is for Real” movie scheduled in Imperial this month, it’s safe to say city officials and the theatre board are expecting good crowds.
The nationwide opening, which includes the Imperial Theatre, is Wednesday, April 16.
The local theatre has two showings scheduled opening night, kicking off a total of 10 showings here of the movie based on the best-selling book of the same name released in 2010.
At the center of the story is Colton Burpo of Imperial, now a freshman at Chase County Schools, who as a four-year-old slipped from consciousness during surgery and then, over a period of time, begins telling his parents of his visit to heaven.
The popular book has sold millions of copies and resulted in the later publishing of a devotional and children’s books. The family has toured extensively both in the U.S. and abroad on invitations to tell their story.
The past week, the Burpo family has been spotted on several national programs touting the release of the movie.
Before leaving last week, Todd Burpo said it’s been a whirlwind, much like after the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book became a hit.
While the movie was not filmed in Imperial, it does portray the community and area well, he has said several times.
But when the movie DVD is released, people may get a glimpse then of the “real” Imperial.
A Sony film crew was in Imperial mid-March, when they captured the Burpos and community scenes in film taken over about 13 hours, he said.
Burpo said many of those scenes will likely be included in the “extras” that will be placed on the DVD.
Playing the role of Todd in the movie is actor Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly plays Sonja, newcomer Connor Corum plays the young Colton, while Lane Styles depicts Cassie.
People can find out more about the “Heaven is for Real” journey at the Burpo family website: www.heaven live.org
Travis Wheeler benefit
The city theatre board has approved the donation of half of all concessions to the Travis Wheeler family during the weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday showing, April 18-20, of “Heaven is for Real” at the Imperial Theatre.
People will also have the opportunity to make free will donations if they choose that weekend.
An added event will be the sale of tickets for an official “Heaven is for Real” poster signed by the Burpos. People will be able to sign up for the drawing throughout the showing of the movie here.
Travis’ father, Bruce Wheeler, is a former projectionist at the Imperial Theatre. The Wheelers are members of Crossroads Wesleyan Church, where Todd Burpo is pastor.
Travis is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He underwent a bone marrow transplant in January.
‘Heaven is for Real’
Wed. April 16—6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Thurs., April 17—7:30 p.m.
Fri., April 18—7:30 p.m.
Sat., April 19—7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 20—3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Friday, April 25—7:30 p.m.
Sat., April 26—7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 27—7 p.m.