WENTZVILLE, Mo. — The popcorn is fresh. Soft drinks are filled. But there's a special crowd at a Wentzville movie theater Sunday, and you can tell by the fire truck parked outside.
"This is not a not a normal occurrence," Capt. Chris Browder said with a quick laugh.
About 160 firefighters and their family members attended a private showing of "Breakthrough", as producers screened the new movie for some of the same people who lived through the rescue.
The film dramatized a January 2015 miracle, when first responders pulled John Smith, 14, from icy Lake Sainte Louise after nearly 20 minutes underwater. Despite the odds, Smith made a full recovery.
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"I think it's good for everybody because it brings back the unity and the camaraderie in the fire service," Capt. Tommy Shine said of the screening.
Shine responded to the call at Lake Sainte Louise and has a sizable character in the film, though he's quick to point out the heavy involvement of other departments -- both in responding to the initial incident and covering their shift so they could make it to the movies.
"There are so many people who have had a hand in this, it's unbelievable," Shine said.
Shine said the private screening allows Wentzville's firefighters to share their firehouse camaraderie with the whole family.
Borrowing a line from his character, Shine says, "I did it because it's my job," adding "that's the outcome I wanted."