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Son takes mom to the movies ... his movies

A Cloquet High School graduate who now dabbles as a filmmaker has planned a special free screening of his short films for his mother next week at a theater in Duluth.

"Cloquet native Allan H. Johnson has been making short films for the last seven years," a formal press release stated. "All of his films have played at film festivals in the Twin Cities area at one time or another. Some of his films have played around the world. However, his mom has never seen them."

Johnson will remedy that in one fell swoop as he plays 14 of his short films on a screen at the Zeitgeist Zinema in downtown Duluth at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. The screening is open to the public.

"My mom is very excited about this event," Johnson told the Pine Knot this week. He said rather than sending his mom, Linda Johnson, "a link or showing her a film on an iPhone," he decided to give her a "proper screening in a movie theater."

Johnson graduated from high school here in 1987 and has lived in St. Cloud and Minneapolis.

"I have always wanted to make films, but didn't start until 2017, at the age of 48," Johnson said.

His mother is 81 and still lives in Cloquet. The family grew up on Oak Street and had a business called Johnson's Stables, or Johnson's Hay and Sleigh Rides, "which was a very busy and popular winter party place throughout the 1980s," Allan said.

He works in graphic design as his "day job," likely inspired by his involvement in art in high school, he said.

"A lot of work goes into these films. The reward is the memories of making the films, along with the friendship," Johnson said, "but it's also seeing the films in a theater on the big screen. It's very fun."

The 6 p.m. screening will last a little over an hour, Johnson said. There will be a discussion afterward, followed by a pizza party down the street at Pizza Luce. There is an additional screening at Zinema that night at 5 p.m, when Linda Johnson will view five other short films by her son.

While the event is free to all, Johnson said he will certainly accept any donations at the screening.

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