This past weekend, Octavia Spencer bought out an entire cinema screen in Baldwin Hills, California and treated low-income families to a free showing of her upcoming movie, Hidden Figures. The gesture was to honour her mother Dellsena Spencer and in part, a celebration of Martin Luther King weekend.

The Help actor took to her Instagram account to spread awareness prior to the event, which took place on Saturday 14 January: "If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can't afford it have them come. It's first come first served.

Tomorrow I've bought the 8pm showing of #hiddenfigures the rave Baldwin hills. If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can't afford it have them come. It's first come first served. My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I'm honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend Pass the word.

A photo posted by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on

"My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I'm honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend Pass the word."

Taraji P. Henson – who appears alongside Spencer in Hidden Figures – did exactly that too, sharing her co-star's post on her own page and writing: "This is how phenomenal this woman is @therealoctaviaspencer bought out the movie theatre for TONIGHT'S 8pm showing of #hiddenfigures at Rave cinemas Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles California for poverty stricken families who want to see this movie with their children on #MLK day.

"If you are in #LA & don't have the money to see the movie with your children go watch for free tonight! 1st come first serve so get there early. #blackfamilies #spreadtheword #realhistory #history #blackgirlsrock #octaviaspencer #tarajiphenson #janellemonae #baldwinhills"

Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures also stars singerJanelle Monáe and tells the real-life story of three female African-American Nasa employees who provide crucial mathematical data needed to launch the program's first human spaceflight mission in 1962. Having already smashed box-office sales in the US, overtaking the likes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and La La Land, Hidden Figures is set to reach UK cinemas on 17 February.

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