The 180 art house movie theaters in 165 US cities will be joined by five locations in Canada and others in England, Sweden and Croatia in the screening of the "1984" movie starring John Hurt based on George Orwell's novel.
April 4, the "National Event Day" of the screening, was selected because it is the date when the book's protagonist Winston Smith begins keeping a forbidden diary.
"Orwell's portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier," organizers said on their website. The organizers point to what they see as the oppressive policies of new US President Donald Trump that they feel threaten freedom of speech.
Dark view of the future
"The goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack," organizers wrote on their website, United State of Cinema.
Participating theaters charging admission say they will donate a portion of the proceeds to charities and educational organizations.
als/kbm (with dpa)