WAYNE COUNTY, N.C. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - A nine-year-old boy with autism is a super fan of Super Mario.
He's never been able to go to the movies in his life, but one North Carolina theater stepped up to help him see his favorite character on the big screen.
Melissa Phillips's son Brian had the time of his life at the movies. It's a moment she never thought she'd see.
Like many kids, the Wayne County nine-year-old loves all things Super Mario, whether it's the video games, shows on TV, or even his favorite hat.
"Mario is his favorite character in the world. He's been in love with Mario, obviously, for six years, and his entire bedroom is Mario," Phillips spoke.
Standing in the way
When the new Mario movie came out earlier this month, Phillips knew her son would want to be first in line, but something was standing in the way.
"He can't go to a regular theater because obviously he gets very loud," Phillips said.
Brian has autism. His family says when he gets really excited about something, he has a hard time keeping it under control.
Because of that, he'd never been to the movies in his life until Sunday.
"They gave us permission to have the entire theater to ourselves today, so that he could actually have the chance to come see his favorite character on the big screen," Phillips detailed.
Act of kindness
After hearing Brian's story, a theater in eastern North Carolina arranged a private screening of the Mario movie for the family Sunday.
Brian, his mom and grandma had the theater all to themselves, letting their superfan take it all in as loudly as he wanted to.
His mother says thanks to the theater's act of kindness. Her family had a day at the movies they'll never forget.
"I honestly can't wait to see him myself because, I'm not here to watch the movie, I'm here to watch my son watch this movie because it's going to be great," Phillips expressed.