When moving ThunderCon to its new location on the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds for it’s fifth anniversary, a partnership with SilverCity theatre appeared to be a perfect fit.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to get involved in something so relatable,” said Patrizia MacMillan, general manager of the Thunder Bay movie theatre.

When approached to join the fan convention celebrating all forms of pop culture this Saturday and Sunday, MacMillan said it was an easy decision.

“I’m excited to see where it’s going to go and how many years that we can be with them,” she said, noting that some of her best patrons at the theatre are the diehard movie fans of franchises like Star Wars and comic-book based films.

“They’ll come two or three times,” she said. “They’re good people and they love to entertain.”

The decision to move ThunderCon form the Valhalla Inn grew out of necessity with the number of attendees growing exponentially each year, said the convention’s media director, Heather Dickson.

“In 2015, we had a one-day event and we were thinking maybe 500 to 800 people coming through the doors and we got 1,200,” she said. “Second year we were hoping 1,800 and we got 2,400. The next year we were pushing 4,000.”

What makes the event so successful is an openness to all mediums and genres of pop culture, said Dickson, noting it’s not just about comic books, but also movies, TV, books, video games and sports.

“You name it, we celebrate it at ThunderCon,” she said. “It’s for fans and for people who love media and pop culture.”

There is also an inclusivity to the event that attracts people.

“We’re really open-minded and we really want this to be a community event,” Dickson said. “There’s a feeling of good will. . .a feeling of welcome, safety and inclusion.”

“You can be a 35-year-old man and dress like a unicorn,” she added. “It doesn’t matter. We welcome you.”

ThunderCon is also about having fun.

“As grown ups, our lives are so serious; we need to play,” said Dickson. “Come and be a kid again.”

The two-day convention will feature a variety of panels, artists, vendors, workshops and interactive activities. SilverCity will be playing movies and offering XBox gaming on the big screen. Dickson said they’ve also partnered with Boulder Bear to offer fans a chance to climb with Spider-man.

Tabletop, role-playing and video gaming will also be available.

This year’s special guests include veteran voice actor Kirby Morrow, YouTube’s Batman Kevin Porter and actor Richard Brake, who portrayed the Night King in the hugely popular Game of Thrones series.

Day passes are $15 in advance online and $20 at the door for adults. Day passes are $10 for children six to 12 and kids five and younger get in free.

For more information visit www.thundercon.org

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