The Lion King

King Mufasa stands with Simba in “The Lion King.”

Update: This event has sold out. 

The Reid Park Zoo is teaming up with Roadhouse Cinemas next Thursday to host a special preview of Disney’s “The Lion King”, with all proceeds supporting lion conservation.

Since the release of the original movie 25 years ago, the number of lions in the wild has decreased by half, according to a zoo news release. Only 20,000 lions remain in the wild, down from a population of 200,000 a century ago. Reid Park Zoo, along with Disney and Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund, are committed to helping double the number of lions in Africa by 2050.

For $25, guests will receive a movie ticket, a fact sheet about the Reid Park Zoo’s lions and a raffle ticket for the chance to win a VIP experience with the lions, including exclusive training sessions. For $35, guests can purchase a VIP ticket which includes all of the previous items, plus unlimited popcorn and soda and a commemorative lion plush. The film starts at 6 p.m.

The “Lion King” is a photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s 1994 animated film of the same name. The new film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, and James Earl Jones reprising his original role as Mufasa. The film is not recommended for children under the age of 8.

Before the start of the movie, guests will also get to view a short video about Reid Park Zoo’s lions and listen to zoo staff talk about their life at the zoo.

In addition to the screening, the zoo will be raising funds in other ways to support The Lion Recovery Fund, including an Adopt an Animal campaign benefiting the zoo’s pride and a Breakfast with the Lions on World Lion Day in August.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlincschmidt

Caitlin is a watchdog reporter covering local government, the University of Arizona and sports investigations. She graduated from the UA's journalism school in 2014 and has won a dozen state awards for investigative and public records-based reporting.