HARKER HEIGHTS — Attendees packed an advance screening of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Thursday evening at the Cinemark at Market Heights to raise money for Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children.

The film is a sequel to “The Hunger Games,” a top-grossing film of 2012, and both films are based on a best-selling trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.

Kristie and PJ Duerre were first in the sold-out VIP line, which stretched across the lobby to the theater entrance.

PJ Duerre has read all three “Hunger Games” books, and they both thought the first movie was “awesome.” Kristie Duerre hopes the second film will be better than the first, though her husband said he preferred to withhold judgment until after the screening. “It’s great that it helps a charity at the same time,” Kristie Duerre said.

About 220 people attended the fundraiser, said Ericka Mitchell, event coordinator.

“We’re really excited that the community comes out to support us,” Mitchell said.

A portion of the proceeds will go back to educational and recreation programs for children with special needs. The screening was a partnership between Killeen Independent School District, Cinemark and Variety, The Children’s Charity of Texas, which runs Peaceable Kingdom.

“We work with Variety every year,” said Anthony Herr, general manager of the theater. “They’re easy to work with and it’s a top priority for us.”

Contact Madison Lozano​ at mlozano@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7552.

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