Compton, Calif., Has No Movie Theater, but That Didn’t Stop Ava DuVernay From Screening A Wrinkle in Time for Her Hometown First

Director Ava DuVernay (center) and Compton, Calif., Mayor Aja Brown (right) attend a special advance private screening of A Wrinkle in Time attended by students from various middle schools around the city on March 2, 2018, in Compton.
Photo: Jesse Grant (Getty Images for Disney)

Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time won’t be out for another week, but thanks to her efforts, her hometown of Compton, Calif., got first dibs on seeing the fantasy epic from the local legend.

As DuVernay posted on her Twitter account, she specifically requested that the first public screening of her film be held in Compton. But since there are no movie theaters in Compton, Disney helped set up the screening at a community center, converting it into a pop-up theater.


DuVernay also took to Instagram to share photos and thanks from the screening, including a thank-you to Compton’s mayor, Aja Brown, and the city for “welcoming [her] home so warmly.”


The film is based on the classic 1962 children’s novel by Madeleine L’Engle, which centers on a tween girl, Meg (Storm Reid), who searches the universe for her missing father, a physicist (Chris Pine). On her epic journey, she’s aided by three spirits, played by Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon.

The story has been considered for a long time to be “unadaptable,” and as DuVernay told the Los Angeles Daily News, her friends told her the same thing:

“People who really loved me and are looking out for me told me, Ava, this book is unadaptable, this might not be the thing that’s next,” she recalled. “But when Disney came to me and said, ‘You can take “A Wrinkle in Time,” which we’ve been trying to crack for awhile, and you can run with it,’ I said I wanted to make it look like this, I wanted people of color to inhabit different roles, I wanted to move it from Meg coming from a sleepy Connecticut town to living in South L.A. . . . and they were game.”


DuVernay also told the Daily News that even though the film is a fantasy, at its core it says the same things as her Oscar-nominated film, Selma.

“Even though it sounds ridiculous, Dr. King’s story is not much different from the stuff I’m exploring in 13th or Middle of Nowhere or Wrinkle in Time,” DuVernay said. “It’s about the way we treat each other and how we want to be in this world.”


The film opens nationwide on March 9.

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Anne Branigin

Staff writer, The Root. Sometimes I blog slow, sometimes I blog quick. Do you have this in coconut?