SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- "Captain Marvel" arrived in theaters Thursday night, and the female hero played by Brie Larson may serve as inspiration for young girls.
Selinsgrove was just one of the places the movie premiered, but Captain Marvel's influence has already inspired people of all ages.
"It's a different type of superhero," explained Elizabeth Valentin of Selinsgrove. "She was an Air Force pilot before she was a hero. It's not just a mythological character. It's somebody that kids can relate to."
And being able to relate to Captain Marvel could have a big cultural impact, according to Erica Delsandro, who teaches Women's and Gender Studies at Bucknell University.
"We can't be what we cant' see. So, for young girls to see a superhero that is a woman allows them to expand their imagination in terms of their possibilities for their own lives," said Delsandro.
The first female comic book hero to have her own movie was Wonder Woman two years ago. Historically, male superheros save the day.
"There's a long history of gendered stereotypes that position women as those needing help and needing to be saved, not those doing the helping or doing the saving," said Delsandro.
And that potentially fresh perspective brought a lot of people to the movie theater in Selinsgrove. Nearby bookstore manager Rachel Phelps set up shop at AMC to sell Captain Marvel merchandise.
"I have heard nothing but enthusiasm from my customers," said Phelps, who manages Books-a-Million. "Everyone is really excited for the film. Everyone is really excited for the merchandise, and it's not a gendered excitement. Everyone is excited to come."
"Lately, the movies, the big ones like this, have been taking a different step, representing a lot of different kinds of people, whether it's male, female, different race, stuff like that," agreed William Armstead of Ringtown.