Pete Davidson footed the bill for a local movie theatre this weekend so fans could see his new film The Suicide Squad for free.

The Saturday Night Live actor paid upfront for two screenings of The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn's latest addition to the DC universe, in which Davidson plays villain Dick Hertz/Blackguard.

"Staten Island comedian, SNL star and latest The Suicide Squad villain #PeteDavidson wants to take you to the movies!" the theatre wrote in a promotion for the deal on Instagram. "The hometown entertainer bought out TWO showings of the new film at the Atrium Stadium Cinema. Those who want to see the film FOR FREE must be present at the theater on Saturday and say they're 'Friends of Pete' at the box office."

The owner of the theatre, Gregg Scarola, spoke to local newspaper SI Live about the generous move.

"It was all Pete's idea, he reached out to us saying he wanted to give back to the community," he explained. "This is a type of movie that has to been seen on the big screen. We have our best screens and auditoriums ready to go. He grew up in this community and it means a lot for him to reach out to us - a local theatre - not just a chain."

Davidson often references his complicated relationship with his hometown in his work. Last year, he teamed up with director Judd Apatow to create the film The King of Staten Island, a fictionalised version of the comedian's upbringing which addressed how he was affected by the death of his firefighter father during the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

In an interview with The New York Times to promote the film, he said his perspective on his hometown has changed through making art about it.

"All my troubles have been here, ups and downs with my family. When my dad passed, I was here," he explained. "But there's also something beautiful, that I can grow here and become a better person here... I've grown to love Staten Island again."