A special showing of the Walt Disney movie “McFarland, USA” — starring Kevin Costner — is scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Indiana Theatre as part of the NCAA Cross Country Championship weekend.

Costner may attend.

The movie will have a special viewing in Terre Haute because the city is considered “Cross Country Town USA,” said David Patterson, executive director of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau.

On Monday, the Terre Haute Board of Works approved lane restrictions near the Indiana Theatre to allow buses to unload athletes who will be coming from Hulman Center, where there will be a banquet for all NCAA cross country teams, coaches and support staff that make it to the Division 1 NCAA National Cross Country Championship.

The movie’s world premiere is scheduled for Feb. 20.

The championship banquet is ahead of the NCAA Div. 1 championship race Nov. 22 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, just east of Terre Haute.

”We think, since we have hosted it so many times, that you can get into the same routine year after year, so this is something that changes that,” said Jeff Martin, director of the championship meet and assistant cross country coach at Indiana State University. “It gives it a little more excitement. It is a win-win situation for the athletes, the NCAA, Walt Disney and the city of Terre Haute.”

Martin said Disney first contacted the NCAA, which then contacted ISU about the special screening. “There is a possibility that Kevin Costner could show up. I know [Walt Disney] is working on it, but he is shooting a movie right now, and his schedule is very tight, so it literally may be the day of when we find out if he is showing up,” Martin said.

Jim Ryun, three-time Olympian and the first high school athlete to break the 4-minute mile in 1964, is the scheduled guest speaker, Patterson said, who will introduce the movie. The banquet will bring 1,000 to 1,500 athletes, coaches and staff, Patterson said.

Patterson said tents are to be set up on Ohio Street 100 feet west of the entryway of the theater to allow large buses to unload 49 to 50 people at a time. The tents are because long-term weather forecasts predict an inch of snow, Patterson told the Terre Haute Board of Public Works. The athletes will be dressed up for the banquet, Patterson said.

”Our task will be to get them from Hulman Center in a timely matter over to the Indiana Theatre and let them depart,” Patterson said.

The board approved a lane restriction on the south side of Ohio Street, from Sixth to Eighth streets, to be used only for unloading buses, as well as closing Seventh Street between Walnut and Ohio streets.

The trailer for the Disney movie was released during the New York City Marathon, Patterson said.

”This is a big deal for our community. The fact that we have a theatre that fit their [Disney’s] wishes and is in Cross County Town USA, and with the recent movie trailer release, the hope is this will be the ‘Hoosiers’ of cross country and really do something for the sport,” Patterson said.

Board member Jon Stinson said he thinks the NCAA National Cross Country Championship is “one of the greatest things that we have going right now. This is huge for our community. I think this will be fantastic.”

Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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