CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – On the first day of a full viewing schedule, audiences turned out en masse to see the Black Panther at the Loews Theatres in Cherry Hill.
“Just to have a positive light on the African American community, something we can support get behind, have our kids see, this is like history,” says Tiffany Sandridge who saw the movie with her husband David and their sons Caleb and Judah.
Black artists like Robb Armstrong, who created the nationally syndicated comic strip “Jump Start”, saw the movie’s African superhero and nearly all-black cast as a modern cinema breakthrough.
“This thing is huge. It’s not even a movie, it’s a movement. It’s the right thing at the right time,” Armstrong told Eyewitness News.
Comic guru and store owner Ariell Johnson says what really sets Black Panther apart is the setting Wakanda: an imaginary African Kingdom untouched by colonization and the slave trade.
“It’s like black people and African people on our terms and that is a new concept,” says Johnson who owns Amalgam Comics and Coffee House in Kensington, the only comic store on the East Coast owned by a black woman.
“The world they set up, the Wakanda, was really fascinating,” said Brett “BPou” Heinbail after seeing the movie at Loews.
“I think it’s beautiful and has a lot of cool technology,” says young viewer Tylar Johnson describing Wakanda.
Viewers says besides being ethnically unique – the story, the action and the acting make Black Panther an enjoyable movie.
“It’s going to do well, regardless of the color of the cast, but I think it’s going to do really, really well,” says Tamara Johnson.