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Movie fans all over the world were saddened to hear of the passing of the great Gene Wilder this week. He was part of so many classic films that one or another is very likely among your favorites. However, the one that likely resonates with the most people is his role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It's fitting then that Regal Cinemas will be bringing the classic movie musical back for a pair of special screenings at several theaters this Saturday.
The Regal theater chain has announced that many of their theaters will be running special screenings of the family friendly film this weekend. You can check the list here to see if a theater near you will be participating. While Gene Wilder had several classic characters in great films, his role of Willy Wonka is likely the one that will attract the most people. There are a couple of generations that have grown up with the film, and possibly some parents that haven't yet shown it to their kids.
Willy Wonka is still a nuanced and complicated role. While he comes across as an eccentric, creative type, there's a dark side to the character as well. While that part is clear during some parts of the film, like the twisted boat scene, at other moments the slightly off base candy man is much more subtle. I think Willy Wonka is the actor's greatest role, although, with films like The Producers and Young Frankenstein to be considered, it's an incredibly difficult decision to make.
Gene Wilder passed away on Monday from complications due to Alzheimer's disease. Since then, all of Hollywood has been sending their love for the great actor. He truly appears to have been adored by everyone.
Of course, the true reason that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has to be the movie you see to remember Gene Wilder is his performance of the song "Pure Imagination." A soft and melancholy tune about following your dreams and doing whatever your imagination demands will likely resonate with those in the theater, as the man singing it appears to have done exactly what the song says. There may not be a dry eye in the house after this moment on Saturday.
Will you be going to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen on Saturday? What Gene Wilder movies have you already watched this week in remembrance? Let us know in the comments below.