LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - With thousands of people in Lawton still without power, many are looking for places to stay warm and for something to pass the time while they wait for the power to be restored. That's when the VASKA Theater in Lawton opened its doors and showed children's movies all day Monday for free. Families came in to get out of the cold, grab some popcorn and enjoy a movie.
VASKA Theater owner Justin Hackney says he saw how many people were affected by the weather and thought he had to do something to help. So he put the word out on Facebook about the free showings, and then hours later families started filling the theater seats.
Aaron Altgilbers and his family live on Lawton's west side where most of the power outages are.
After being without power since Sunday night, he knew they had to get out of the house and find something to do with his kids today.
"We decided to come up with things to do," said Altgilbers. "You kinda start getting creative once you start to lose those amenities like internet, lights and stuff like that."
Hackney says he knew families would need a place to stay warm and have something to do, but he didn't know it would get this response.
"I can't even keep up with the messages on Facebook or phone calls," said Hackney. "So it's gotten a lot of attention, and I didn't mean it to get attention. I just meant it for a place for people to be able to get out."
And the families did come out. Around 500 people altogether came out for the five showings that started Monday at 2 p.m.
Even with admission being free and the possibility of the theater not making any money today, Hackney says that doesn't matter to him.
"I mean that's what it's all about just helping people," said Hackney. "I can make a few dollars tomorrow. If I can help everyone today I'm happy with that."
Some of the families as they exited the theater had some good news that they received messages that their power was back on. Some weren't so lucky, but they were grateful for the theater's free showings today to help pass the time with their family.