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Watch: Worcester artist creates animated video for movie theater proposal

The animated video was created with over 2,000 individual illustrations.

Jonathan Holz and Julie Deoliveira frequent the Showcase Blackstone Valley 14 Cinema de Lux. Holz decided to make his own animated preview to show at the theater when he proposed. Colleen McCormick Blair, Marlo Marketing

Julie didn’t want to go to the movies this past Sunday. But as a Marvel franchise fan, she eventually agreed to watch the movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

“I went with a couple of my girlfriends, and we were just hanging out for the day and they wanted to see a movie,” Julie Deoliveira, 25, said. “I was opposed to seeing a movie — I was trying to beg them not to take me to the movies.”

But Deoliveira never learned the legend of the ten rings. She left with an engagement ring instead.

While watching the previews, Deoliveira thought she was watching the trailer for “a cute little romantic indie film” until she recognized the handwriting and artistic style of the drawings on the screen. They belonged to her boyfriend, Jonathan.

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“I always want to impress you,” said the video in Jonathan’s handwriting. “To love you. To be with you forever… Julie, it’s time!”

The video turned out to be a proposal video from her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jonathan Holz from Worcester, who was hidden a few rows behind her in the theater. All the theater’s audience members were Deoliveira’s family and friends hidden in the darkness.

“Let’s get that ring!” said the video in animated letters. The video then showed a cartoon Jonathan traveling to get the engagement ring — making stops for accidental toe-stubbing and Nintendo switch playing along the way.

Holz has been giving Julie small illustrations since they started dating three years earlier. They met as neighbors down the hall from each other and were friends three years prior to dating.

“The first gift that I gave to her was an illustration for her,” Holz said. “And throughout the years, any anniversary and Valentine’s Day I’d do a little bit of illustrations, showing both of us.”

But Holz wanted to top the illustrations. As a graphic design student, he decided to make an animation video, which Holz created using more than 2000 individual drawings.

Two weeks before the proposal, Holz reached out to Showcase Blackstone Valley 14 Cinema de Lux, a theater the couple regularly visits.

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“I’ve been waiting for this since I’ve been here and as far as I know this hasn’t happened with us — at least to our knowledge — maybe it happens without us knowing about it,” Mark Malinowski, Showcase Cinemas Vice President of Global Marketing said. “This was one of those instances where we actually were involved, our staff was involved.”

Holz and Deoliveira pose with their family and friends following the proposal.

After two weeks of planning — and one night of Holz faking a stomach bug to keep Julie away while he worked on the video — Showcase, Holz, and his family and friends managed to pull off the proposal.

“I think everything just worked so perfectly… she kind of fell for everything,” Holz said.

As the three-minute video ended and the lights came up, Holz got down on a knee and proposed. Deoliveira said yes.

The couple is now planning their wedding for the summer of 2022. Showcase also gave the couple a year of free movies at the theater with a membership subscription and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings merchandise.

“I was super nervous… at the same time, it’s like, I had the feeling that this is the right time, the right place and it’s now,” Holz said. “That is the girl that I love and I want to marry her.”

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