On her way to school bright and early on Monday morning, Southampton High School senior Taylor Gise spotted her name on the United Artists Southampton movie theater marquee. In bold letters, her boyfriend of two years, Artur Barbosa, asked her a very important question: “Taylor, will you go to prom with me? Artur.” She said “Yes.”
“This is her last year, and I wanted to do something special,” he said in a telephone interview on Monday afternoon. “I wanted to do something someone hasn’t done yet.”
On Sunday, Artur called the theater’s general manager, Mary Russo, and worked out the details for his “promposal.” Instead of having him pay the theater to use the marquee, Ms. Russo asked that he donate that money, $50, to the Regal Foundation. The nonprofit organization helps support the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Will Rogers Motion Pictures Pioneers Foundation, the American Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among other charities. Ms. Russo said she could not comment.
Artur, a 17-year-old junior, waited for his girlfriend by the theater, where they had their first date, and watched for her reaction.
“I was nervous when I was waiting for everything to unfold there, waiting at the movie theater,” he said.
A soft-spoken Taylor said on Monday afternoon that she was driving to school with her sister, Casey, when she saw the big question.
Casey tricked her into believing she had to be taken to school early to take a test, she said. Taylor quickly found out it was a hoax and she would have a date to the prom on June 21.
According to Artur, her jaw dropped.
“I was driving past it and didn’t even see it at first—but my sister pointed it out,” Taylor said. “I was so surprised. I turned around and got out of the car.”
Artur said he got a big hug.
“It was really cute,” she said. “It was a lot different than what anyone else in our school did.”
His romantic gesture immediately won her over, but it wasn’t a difficult choice to make, she said.
“He’s my best friend and we do everything together,” she said. “He makes me really happy.”