As temperatures topped 100 degrees in the U.K. this week, a movie theater chain turned its attention to the sun’s most vulnerable: redheads.
British Showcase Cinemas offered any natural ginger a free ticket to one movie per day, knowing that flame-haired, freckled, fair-skinned folk are more prone to sun damage than many other population sectors.
“If you’ve got red hair, grab a free ticket from the cinema box office for a film showing on Monday 18 and/or Tuesday 19 July, get yourself an ICEE and keep cool at Showcase,” the chain said on its web page under the headline “SPF (sun-protecting flicks).”
As if free air conditioning weren’t enticing enough, the theater chain threw out some titles.
“You’ll be able to watch Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as Thor in the ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ experience the roots of rock and roll in the big-screen biopic ‘Elvis,’ laugh out loud with the minions in ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru,’ and so much more,” the theater said, adding on its Instagram page, “You’re gonna want to let your redheaded friends know about this.”
The announcement was well received, as one redhead who headed to the theater learned and later posted about on TikTok.
Her bald dad — either because they couldn’t tell his original hair color, or they deemed him even more vulnerable than his ginger daughter — got in too.
“Is it just a room full of gingers then?” her dad asked the ticket seller.
“Yes, and tomorrow,” she replied.
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The ticket offer coincided with an unprecedented “red warning” from the U.K.’s Met Office for extreme heat “likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure” as temperatures were slated to hit 106 degrees before it was all over.
Research has shown that the same genetic makeup that endows gingers with fetching freckles dappling alabaster skin topped with flaming locks also makes them more prone to melanoma than their counterparts in the general population.
In fact, as Reuters described it back when the study was published in the journal Nature Communications in 2016, having that genetic profile and coloring is akin to spending 21 years in the sun — even before one’s skin ever sees a single ray.
The timely offer rescued countless redheads from the searing heat, which hit 104.5 degrees in eastern England on Tuesday and topping the previous, 2019, record of 101.7.
Few homes, small businesses or public buildings such as hospitals have air conditioning, given the country’s normal clime of temperate, rainy weather. Showcase and other movie theaters are notable exceptions.
The heat blasting Europe, while most intense in the U.K., has sparked wildfires in Portugal, the Balkans and beyond, and killed hundreds of people.
With News Wire Services