From the first time a movie was shown, couples have flocked to the darkened theaters in hopes of holding hands with their sweetheart or stealing a kiss from their beloved before the final credits roll across the screen. The Ritz Theatre in Thomaston is no different and has seen its fair share of love birds over the past 86 years. In fact, this past Saturday the historic theatre played an important part in the lives of Joseph Peed and Holly Brown when it became the place they got engaged.
However, this proposal was more than Joseph just getting down on one knee; he created a whole movie to show on the big screen to surprise Holly, who thought she was just going to see the movie “Frozen,” with some friends. Joseph is the son of Danny and Lori Peed of Reynolds, Georgia and is a film student at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. He began thinking about a year ago how he would want to pop the question and thought there was no better set up for the big event than making a movie. With the help of many friends, Joseph created a mini sci-fi film entitled “Erosa” in which he had to “fight” for his chance to win Holly’s hand in marriage. He even recruited the help of her father, Fitz Brown, to be his opponent; who was more than happy to play a part in the big event.
Ritz Theatre owner Malcolm Neal was grateful to be part of the creative proposal, as no one had done this at the theatre before to his knowledge. He noted the first projectionist for The Ritz did propose to his girlfriend in the projection room many years ago, but this is the first time that anyone had created their own movie to use as part of the proposal.
Holly is the daughter of Fitz and Dusty Brown of Butler, Georgia and is a psychology major at Middle Georgia State College in Macon. Joseph stated it was not an easy feat to get her to the theatre and keep everything a surprise; Holly’s parents also said it was very hard to keep the secret from their daughter as they have known about it since this past summer. However, everyone was able to keep it hush-hush, as Holly said she had no idea he was planning to propose Saturday night and was taken completely by surprised when the movie began to play on the screen.
Right before “Erosa” started; Joseph and one of his friends excused themselves to go to the concession stand so he could make a grand entrance. At the end of the movie, he is “teleported” to just outside the theatre and went out to change into his costume from the movie before walking down the aisle to the love of his life.
More than 50 family and friends of the couple were at the theatre to witness the event, along with several families out for a night at the movies. As Joseph got down on one knee and asked Holly to spend the rest of her life with him, the entire theatre erupted into applause when she said yes.