SPOKANE, Wash. - Actor Matthew Modine, who starred in 'Vision Quest' - the 1985 movie filmed in Spokane - is back in Spokane to give back to Spokane.
Modine, who played the role of coming-of-age high school wrestler Louden Swain, was in Spokane to help promote a fundraiser to help pay for the rebuilding of the Milk Bottle and Ferguson's Cafe - the Garland District icons destroyed in a fire on September 25th, 2011.
"Ferguson's and the Milk Bottle are an important part of this community and I wanted to help," Modine told KHQ. "When someone falls down. You have to help them get back up."
There was a special showing of 'Vision Quest' Saturday night at the Garland Theatre. Admission was $3.50 with proceeds going to fundraising efforts. Modine also took questions from the audience afterward.
On Friday at Riverfront Park a 'flash mob' organized on Twitter by local film buff Holly Jones gave some Modine fans a unique opportunity to meet the star. Modine said he would raffle off a $500 prize if at least 250 people showed up to run across the bridges near Riverfront Park - a fun tribute to the iconic training scenes in 'Vision Quest' where Swain (Modine) ran across several Spokane bridges.
"I just think it's a lot of fun for everyone to get together to celebrate Spokane," Jones told the Spokesman. "It's awesome. It's really a testament to how much he cares for the fans."
Far fewer than 250 people were on hand, but according to the Spokesman, Modine decided to do the raffle anyway. However, the crowd urged him to instead donate the money to Ferguson's and the Milk Bottle. After chatting and signing autographs, some fans ran the bridges around the park.
Film buffs also joined Modine at a special event Friday night at the Bing Crosby Theatre - a screening of 'Jesus was a Commie' - an award-winning new short film in which Modine not only starred, but also wrote and co-directed. The 15-minute film, part of the Spokane International Film Festival, is about a dialectic that pushes the boundaries of narrative and politics. Modine also shared his views on cinema with the audience.
Modine's acting career is still going strong. In 'The Dark Knight Rises" set to hit theaters July 20th, he reportedly will be portraying a 'politician and a key villain' called Nixon in the upcoming conclusion to Christopher Nolan's superhero trilogy. Other stars include Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Anne Hathaway.
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