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"Serenity" Movie’s Mystery donor’s identity revealed

Mike Bailey

Wednesday 9 November 2005, by Webmaster

Investing in a passion

Now we know the name of the mystery man who spent almost $2,500 to buy 320 tickets for the movie "Serenity," which he then gave to strangers.

Vancouver’s Mike Alward is the fan who spent almost seven hours on opening day trying to give those tickets away to people outside Regal Cinema Cascade 16 theater.

But being generous wasn’t as easy as it sounded. "I stood there trying to give away tickets to the movie and it was like I was passing out cancer," he said. "It was like, ’Get away,’ ’Back off,’ ’What’s the catch?’ Everyone was so suspicious."

Alward, a former Marine who is working as a carpenter, is part of a group of nine friends who are avid "Firefly" fans. He treated the group and relatives to the movie that opening day and then gave away the rest of the tickets. He used inherited money to pay for the tickets.

As a fan of the TV series "Firefly" (the movie is based on that series), Alward, 25, was trying to bolster opening-day box office numbers so that the movie’s producers might make a sequel.

He concedes his efforts won’t have much of an effect. The movie has all but disappeared from theaters and so far has not recouped the $39 million production costs.

Alward said he has no regrets. "I know some people think I am crazy," he said. "But the way I look at it, some people smoke cigarettes, some people collect movies. Everyone has a hobby and a way to waste money.

"For me, this is what I wanted to do."

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