A scene from Steel Magnolias.

Today, in 2019, we have Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Thirty years ago, in 1989, we had Truvy, M’Lynn, Ouiser, Clairee and, of course, Shelby.

Those are the strong female characters from Steel Magnolias—and Cathedral City’s Mary Pickford 14, in partnership with Fathom, Turner Classic Movies and TriStar, will be among the theaters presenting showings of the film on Sunday, May 19, and Wednesday, May 22, to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Steel Magnolias takes place in a small Louisiana parish and is based on a true story. Writer Robert Harling wrote both the screenplay and the play that preceded it as a memorial to his sister, Susan, after she died from complications related to diabetes in 1985. She is represented by the character of Shelby (played by Julia Roberts in an Oscar-nominated performance), and the story is about the strong ties between the friends who live in this tight-knit community. It’s a community that celebrates all the residents’ highs and lows—both the good and bad events in each other’s lives. We get to experience Shelby’s life-changing moments all the way to the end. Steel Magnolias shows that even though you may feel like you have not made much of an impact on other people, you really have, in some way.

The film was both a critical and commercial success, and Steel Magnolias remains wildly popular three decades later thanks to the strong female characters and the fantastic storyline. In other words, it can now be called a classic—and this is why Fathom Events has chosen to give the film special 30th anniversary screenings at the Mary Pickford 14 and other theaters across the country.

Damon Rubio, whose D’Place Entertainment owns the Mary Pickford 14, explained the partnership between Fathom Events and theaters like his.

“This partnership brings many films to a new generation,” Rubio said. “This gives people an opportunity to see these films on a large screen, like they should be seen.”

I asked him to explain the partnership between the Mary Pickford and Fathom Events.

“Fathom is like a studio; they are a content provider, and they license out films to theaters, and then they also help promote them,” Rubio said. “They work with classic films instead of first-run movies … This is only one of several films that Fathom will be presenting this year. We will be showing Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Field of Dreams, just as examples. We will also be showing music concerts, such as Led Zeppelin. There are also offerings of opera, anime, big-stage live productions and sporting events such as boxing.

What is so special about watching a classic film at a movie theater?

“We also offer an experience,” Rubio said. “You can come and sit in the recliners, have a nice beer or wine—and have a café that serves while enjoying your movie,” he said.

Whether you’ve seen Steel Magnolias before or not, a word of advice: Bring your tissues! You’ll need them.

Steel Magnolias will be screened for its 30th anniversary at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 19; and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Mary Pickford Is D’Place, 36850 Pickfair St., in Cathedral City. Tickets are $11.95. For tickets or more information, visit dplaceentertainment.com. Other local, chain-owned theaters will be showing Steel Magnolias on Sunday, May 19; Tuesday, May 21; and Wednesday, May 22; for a complete schedule, visit www.fathomevents.com.