CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The coronavirus has gotten in the way of so many things – including Coral Springs’ plans this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department.
So this weekend, city officials created a two-night, drive-in movie event to honor the department as well as give local families a safe night out.
And how best to promote “Playing with Fire,” the featured movie?
Coral Springs got the movie’s star to congratulate the department in a short video.
“I want to wish Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department a happy anniversary,” said John Cena in the clip.
The popular actor and WWE professional wrestler recorded the 18-second video thanks to a connection the city’s Video/Photo Production Manager Ryan Himmel has in the film industry.
Lynne Martzall, the city’s director of communications and marketing, explained Himmel, who is an Emmy Award winner, reached out to Cena’s agent in hopes of getting Cena to do a quick tribute to the department and mmgenerate a buzz for the movie.
“John Cena graciously obliged and immediately sent over the video,” she said in an email.
Before Covid-19 hit, Coral Springs had planned a banquet-style event to honor the fire department’s volunteers, retirees, and current employees.
Since that wasn’t possible, organizers decided to do the movie event and picked “Playing with Fire,” a comedy in which Cena plays firefighter Jake Carson.
There were two planned showings – one for Friday night for the fire department’s current and past personnel and another one for Saturday for the general public (it’s sold out).
So far, Cena’s video has been viewed 1,600 on Twitter.
Watch the video here.