Hollywood prepares for world premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood is preparing for what could be the largest movie premiere in its history on Monday night when the hugely anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is screened for VIP audiences in three separate theatres amid tight security.

See Full Article

At one of the Hollywood Boulevard location -- the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre, where the first "Star Wars" premiered in 1977 -- fans are already camped out this weekend, eagerly awaiting their turn when the film opens for regular folks next Friday.

One fan, Lavonne Dominguez, wasn't interested in simply buying a ticket online to see the movie in her local movie theatre. She and several friends who drove up from Orange County wanted an out-of-this-world experience.

"I need to see it in an epic place with people who are just as excited about 'Star Wars' as me," said Dominguez, 32, who was among about 150 devotees in line at the Chinese on Friday, occasionally ducking under awnings to avoid a passing shower.

Several fans began holding court outside the theatre last weekend. Many of them previously lined up at the same location to be among the first to see the "Star Wars" prequel films, beginning in 1999. This time, the theatre operator is allowing them to camp out on top of the theatre's famous celebrity hand- and footprints, instead of along the sidewalk out front.

The fans must log at least 24 hours in line to gain entry to the theatre's first public showing of the film, but those who spend more time in line will earn preferential seat selection.

"If I didn't have to go to work, I probably would be here the whole time," said Dominguez.

It's unclear just where the group will be when Lucasfilm's latest "Star Wars" installment has its worldwide premiere on Monday night.

The star-studded event is expected to be one of the largest -- and most secretive -- Hollywood premieres ever.

On Friday, dozens of workers were busily erecting a mammoth opaque tent lining four blocks of Hollywood Boulevard.

Inside the partially built structure, curious tourists snapped photos of lighting equipment while security personnel drove around in carts with "The Force Awakens" logo on them.

Lucasfilm-owner Disney declined to comment or provide details about the premiere, but it's expected to take over the TCL Chinese Theatre, as well as the nearby El Capitan Theatre and the adjacent Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars.

An invitation sent to members of the media Friday afternoon requested that they withhold from spoiling the film after seeing it for the first time Monday night and dress in "'Star Wars"' chic" attire to the event.

Los Angeles Police Lt. John Jenal said the department is treating the premiere like other marquee events that take place on Hollywood Boulevard, including the Academy Awards. He noted "The Force Awakens" debut is "triple the magnitude of a typical premiere."

Jenal said extra vehicle patrols and more officers on foot are being assigned to the area, with several streets blocked to traffic. A half-mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and La Brea avenues was closed off beginning Friday.

Beyond the Hollywood premiere, there are several special screening events planned across North America to celebrate the opening of "The Force Awakens."

In New Orleans, a "Star Wars"-inspired Mardi Gras marching club is organizing a Wednesday night pajama party-marathon screening of the first three "Star Wars" films.

"It will be a big group of folks in pyjamas eating popcorn and watching the original trilogy," said Ryan Ballard, an artist and co-founder of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus.

The 1,000-member group also plans a uniquely New Orleans celebration on Thursday night. Ballard said the Krewe arranged for a private showing for 100 of its officers at a local theatre. Afterward, the group will lead a parade of costumed revelers into the French Quarter, accompanied by a brass band playing a medley of "Star Wars" music.

In Kane, Pennsylvania, the Kane Family Drive-in Theater is reopening in the dead of a Northeast winter to show "The Force Awakens." It marks the first time in the drive-in theatre's 63-year-old history that it will be open during the snowy season.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, is hosting an endurance contest for seven die-hard fans who are hoping The Force will keep them awake. The theatre will screen the entire "Star Wars" saga ahead of the debut of "The Force Awakens." For those that survive the 16-hour marathon without nodding off, "The Force Awakens" will then play repeatedly until one fan remains awake. The winner will receive a seven-year movie pass and "Star Wars" swag.

While hundreds of opening-weekend showings have sold out, box-office analysts say there will still be plenty of available theatres to see "The Force Awakens" beginning Friday without needing to wait in line.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Montreal sound crew celebrates first Oscar nomination for 'Arrival'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Champagne was flowing Tuesday morning in Montreal as key members of the sound team on "Arrival" marked the sci-fi film's eight Academy Award nominations. Sound editor Sylvain Bellemare says a small group of colleagues gathered in a local production studio to see whether they'd be in the running for Hollywood's most prestigious golden statue. Source
  • Denis Villeneuve disappointed Amy Adams's wasn't nominated for best actress

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Denis Villeneuve is celebrating a staggering eight Oscar nominations for his sci-fi film "Arrival" but the director says he's shocked that his leading actress Amy Adams was snubbed. "If you had asked me yesterday what were my expectations, I would have said it's a given," the Quebecois director said Tuesday in a call from Los Angeles. Source
  • New series Mary Kills People finds both drama and comedy in assisted suicide

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mary, Mary, quite contrary. That could apply both to the lead character in the new Canadian series Mary Kills People, and to the show itself, which debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25 on Global. Mary saves people, and she also kills them. Source
  • Canadian animator's 'Blind Vaysha' up for best animated short at Oscars

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Montreal animator Theodore Ushev has been toiling away at his craft for over 15 years and has 16 films to his credit. He came to believe that his short films were too avant garde for consideration for mainstream awards like the Oscars. Source
  • How Canadian Denis Villeneuve arrived as an Oscar-nominated director

    Entertainment CTV News
    You could say that Quebec director Denis Villeneuve has officially arrived, now that he's scored an Oscar nomination for his alien-invasion tale "Arrival." But the acclaimed filmmaker has a long history of churning out critically acclaimed dramas in French and English. Source
  • Comeback complete? Mel Gibson gets an Oscar nod

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Mel Gibson is having quite a week: On Friday, he became a father for the ninth time and on Tuesday he earned an unexpected Oscar nomination, capping what appears to be a remarkable comeback from Hollywood's version of Siberia. Source
  • Academy Awards: Liz Braun's snubs and surprises [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The biggest surprise at the Oscar nomination announcements? That the awards juggernaut continues to be so predictable and so dull. Missing in action was the black-hearted superhero comedy Deadpool, the one critical and box office success that could have injected some life into the proceedings. Source
  • Oscars not so white: Actors celebrates diverse nomination pool

    Entertainment CTV News
    Seven actors of colour have been nominated for the 89th Academy Awards, following two straight years of controversy during which all categories were dominated by white actors. Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga lead the field with nods in the Best Actor and Actress categories for "Fences" and "Loving," respectively, while five other actors of colour were nominated for supporting roles. Source
  • Oscars not so white: Actors celebrate diverse nomination pool

    Entertainment CTV News
    Seven actors of colour have been nominated for the 89th Academy Awards, following two straight years of controversy during which all categories were dominated by white actors. Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga lead the field with nods in the Best Actor and Actress categories for "Fences" and "Loving," respectively, while five other actors of colour were nominated for supporting roles. Source
  • Erin Andrews reveals she had surgery for cervical cancer

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Erin Andrews has revealed that she battled cervical cancer during the NFL season. The Fox Sports sideline reporter and "Dancing with the Stars" co-host tells Sports Illustrated's MMQB that she underwent surgery for the cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Oct. Source