With the new, Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie premiering in theaters across the nation Thursday evening, local fans got in on the excitement as well by dressing up for an event at Fort Cinema prior to the first showing at 7 p.m.
Fans of all ages came to the movie theater in Star Wars costumes, ranging from Jedi to Princess Leia and even Queen Amidala. Others came in Star Wars t-shirts or carrying lightsabers.
A local radio station reported directly from the theater during the event, involving participants in on-air Star Wars trivia games and competitions on who could impersonate Chewbacca, Yoda or even R2-D2 the best. Awards were given to winners as well as costume contest participants.
Theater owner Amanda Hale said she grew up watching the original Star Wars movies in theaters with her father, and is glad that the tradition can continue for families now as the series continues.
“There’s a lot of Star Wars fans out there,” Hale said, saying they were happy to provide the event and showing that included all three screens, with two showing it in 3-D. “It’s really awesome that we get to do this at our theater.”
Hale was able to watch the movie before its release and admitted she got emotional when the opening story information began to scroll upward as it had in previous films. Admitting she herself is a “nerd” when it comes to Star Wars, Hale said she enjoyed getting to celebrate the movie release with other fans Friday night.
“It was fun,” Hale said. “We enjoyed it.”
Over the next four weeks, Hale said the Star Wars movie will be showing on at least one of the theater’s three screens, while the first week or two it will be showing on two screens. Unfortunately, she said rumors have led people to believe that tickets are unavailable, when in fact some showings on Friday did not have any sales.
“There are rumors going around that we’re completely sold out for the next two weeks,” Hale said, admitting that is frustrating for her and emphasizing it is completely untrue.
Tickets remain available for the remainder of the opening weekend, which has the potential to break box office records nation-wide. Times for weekend showings are available at Fort Cinema’s website and Facebook page.