This holiday season marks the 19th year that Malco Theatres has coordinated a campaign dedicated to raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Called “Wrapped with Love,” the program plays to what theaters once had in abundance: film.

“Our Wrapped with Love campaign offers bows, hand-made from film,” says Karen Melton, vice president and director of marketing for Malco. “Each bow is made from actual film representing about 24 frames, equivalent to approximately one second of a movie. The bows cost $1 each and are available for purchase at every Malco Theatre (34 locations across the Mid-South), until Christmas Day. All of the proceeds go directly to support the ongoing operations of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Melton says, “Julie Kelyman was our former marketing director who was responsible for creating the ‘Wrapped with Love’ campaign. Aligned with our philanthropic endeavors, she hit on the idea of this way of recycling film. It was a win-win for recycling, as well as a means of giving back to the community.”

When the movie industry switched from traditional film to digital, Malco realized it would lose its ongoing access to the film needed for the bows, Melton says. By reaching out to distribution partners, Malco was able to save thousands of rolls of trailers on actual film.

Malco Powerhouse Cinema

“With no other use, that footage was destined to be destroyed,” says Melton. “We sent an email to our partners outlining the program and explaining our need for the film material. Our request was met with a resounding response, and the material we needed was shipped to us so that we could continue the ‘Wrapped with Love’ program.”

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas thrived as a comedian and actor, so our partnership with Malco Theatres carries special meaning,” says Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. “We’re grateful for its customers in Memphis and the Mid-South who continue to rally around our lifesaving mission. Together, they have raised more than $1.3 million and their generosity helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”

“At Malco, we’re making it easy for anyone who wants to get behind the mission of helping sick children,” says Melton. “We’re trying to fund miracles, and the magic of Christmas is tied into each bow. And through our collaborative efforts with St Jude, we’re helping to do that year-round.”

For more information about the “Wrapped with Love” campaign, visit