SouledOut Cinema: Bringing back Black movies

Mark S. Luckie
3 min readOct 18, 2016

As I was driving through the tree-lined streets of Palo Alto with my longtime friend Maurice, we passed a theater dedicated to showing old black and white movies.

“Why isn’t there a theater that only shows Black movies?” I asked him.

In that moment, SouledOut Cinema was born.

Get a sneak preview of SouledOut Cinema

African-Americans are constantly bombarded with negative images of our race in the media we consume. From television to the movies and elsewhere, we are subject to continuous exposure to Black pain. Like many others, we look to the movies as a temporary escape from the pressures of the world. However, because there are few faces of color in lead roles or behind the camera, we often see a reflection of someone else’s experiences.

When we hear word of a new release that’s a reflection of who we are, we flock to it. Movies with majority black casts often overperform at the box office and are deemed “surprise hits.” And yet, we’re still sitting and waiting for more.

It’s time to bring more color to the big screen! We founded SouledOut Cinema so you can enjoy classic Black films from the 80s, 90s and 00s at a movie theater in a city near you.

Get ready for favorites like Boomerang, Waiting to Exhale, Coming to America, Bebe’s Kids, Soul Food, The Players Club and Friday. The movies that will make you “ease on down” and ask “what’s love got to do with it?” The actual film titles for each screening will be announced when tickets go on sale.

We are partnering with movie theaters and auditoriums across the country to provide a comfortable space to watch the films you love. Quote your favorite lines and share the experience on social media while you watch.

It wouldn’t be a SouledOut event without the proper food so we’re teaming up with local caterers to bring you awesome eats. Skip the stale nachos and enjoy snacks like jerk wings, mac and cheese, pound cake, brisket, tostones, gumbo and more.

SouledOut Cinema will kick off in Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, NYC, Oakland and Philly. Help us make it happen! Donate to our Kickstarter campaign to bring SouledOut Cinema to your city.

By contributing to the SouledOut Cinema Kickstarter, you can have your name shown in the credits before each movie screening, get access to pre-sale tickets or a lifetime pass to any SOC showing or even a trip to Los Angeles for a VIP movie studio tour. Tickets will be available exclusively through Kickstarter until the show dates are announced.

We’re also swagging you out with our new online store. Share your love for your favorite movie with apparel you won’t find anywhere else.

Like many Black-owned businesses, SouledOut Cinema is a community effort. The team needs your support to make it a reality. Find out more about how to bring SOC to your city at our Kickstarter page.

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Mark S. Luckie

Author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist novel DO U. and The Digital Journalist’s Handbook. Veteran of Reddit, Twitter and The Washington Post.