In a heartfelt message on Instagram Thursday, the actor revealed he and his husband, Simon Halls, bought out the movie theater for locals to watch the coming-of-age love story between two teenage boys. Bomer, 40, offered free movie tickets to anyone who was available to see it.
“Please come see @lovesimonmovie in my hometown of Spring, TX for free! @halls.simon and I bought out the whole screening for you,” he wrote in the caption. “This is an important movie, and a really good one. I know you’ll love it so come watch for free this Sunday! #loveislove #hometown #springtx #lovesimon.”
Bomer bought out the theater for only one day, on March 25 for the 4 p.m. showing at the AMC Spring 10.
In an interview with OUT Magazine in May 2017, Bomer said he was raised in a conservative Christian home where he wasn’t allowed to watch “secular” TV. The star, who realized he was gay while performing classics such as Romeo and Juliet and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, knew telling his parents would be a challenge.
“Telling your family is a huge, huge deal,” Bomer said. “I really view my life as divided between the time before I told my parents, and the time after. And the decisions I made, and the life I lived, before and after, are vastly different. It’s night and day.”
He was dating a girl during that period in his life, but was inspired to be true to himself by a hair and makeup artist at the festival.
“I thought, ‘If this person can live their truth, what am I doing?’ ” he recalled. He decided to come out to his parents through a letter, saying, “I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person.”
Love, Simon stars Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel as parents to high school student Simon, played by Nick Robinson, who struggles to tell his loved ones he’s gay. The film is based on Becky Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda.
The actors recently sat down with PEOPLE to talk about the emotional weight of the film and the impact it’ll leave on moviegoers.
“I hope that it’s inclusive, first and foremost,” Robinson, 22, said. “That people feel respected, represented as much as they can and that it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours.”
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“We want to be entertaining. We want anyone who sees it to have a good time, and they should,” Garner, 45, said. “I think it’s a really fun comedy that anyone should connect to.”
“So many times these movies are heavy-handed in some way or preachy, I never felt that from this,” said Duhamel, 45. “I think that that’s really why it works. I think that if there’s a message, it’s that it’s not that big of a deal if you’re lesbian, gay, straight, trans, whatever, you’re still a human being. We don’t have to make a huge deal of it. What I love about this movie is it’s not heavy-handed, it’s light and at the end of the day we’re just human beings, trying to exist.”