Furries are renting theaters for Zootopia meets, and they’re getting bigger than cons.

by Patch O'Furr


Nordic Fuzzcon has a Zootopia screening at a theater for 250. That’s the size of it’s 2014 attendance. (Art: Silverfox)

The most anticipated “furry” movie in memory is coming. It’s the #1 reason to call 2016 The Year of Furry.  Zootopia is Star Wars for anthro animals.

This is different from other such events. It’s a fandom pulling mainstream media to itself, despite reasons for the media to resist open ties.  This isn’t Zootopia fandom taking over, it’s furries doing what they already love.

In the San Francisco Bay area, over 200 furries will stuff a theater to it’s limit.  The screening is just for them.  It includes not just a movie, but a whole night of fursuiting.  There’s a changing room in the theater, and the neighborhood will be inundated with fluffy revelers at bars and restaurants.

It’s the size of a small con.  The event was arranged by convincing a theater that it would be well handled and attended.  The response exploded beyond expectations.  A theater with 145 seats was maxed out within days, and had to be switched for one with 225 spots.  That isn’t even enough – the wait list is double digits and rising.  It went out through members-only channels and word of mouth, to serve the most dedicated fans and manage demand beyond the limits.

Imagine the fun.  You get to strut your stuff in costume, and see audience interplay that happens with few movies short of Rocky Horror.  It won’t be surprising to hear fandom references flying at the screen that wouldn’t be heard in any other show.

It’s a strange marriage when subculture gathers around the most mainstream media, while Disney arguably may be using a strategy to spread hype with Furries without admitting it.   A furry movie director who just sold his documentary at the Slamdance film fest gave me gossip that Zootopia crew admitted it’s real.

Already-successful events are inspiring many to set up their own. If you haven’t done it yet, don’t wait. Theaters set schedules a few months ahead.

Chance the Dragon, admin of San Diego Furries, writes: “Anyone have any leads for a movie theater that will accept fursuits, even if some negotiation is necessary?”  He told me: “I saw your guys’s success up there, and I was like, “If only we had a place like that around here!”

Here’s some other Zootopia furmeets around the USA. Do you know about more? Please comment below!  

Updates: Many new comments on Reddit – check to see if you can connect with anyone near you!

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