Streets closed, red carpets ready for world premiere of 'The Force Awakens'

LOS ANGELES -- A half-mile section of Hollywood Boulevard has been closed to traffic and a giant opaque tent now lines four blocks of the famous thoroughfare.

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Fan bleachers are up and spotlights are everywhere.

Could the Academy Awards be coming early to Hollywood? No, bigger: On Monday evening, three theatres will roll out red carpets for the world premiere of the hugely anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Many of Hollywod's top stars will join hundreds of costumed fans at what could be the largest Hollywood premiere ever. One of the participating theatres -- the iconic TCL Chinese -- hosted the premiere of the original "Star Wars" in 1977.

Los Angeles Police say extra vehicle patrols and more officers on foot are being assigned to the area.

Police dogs checked areas adjacent to the massive tent shrouding the red carpet, and pedestrians in the area had to go through metal detectors.

Journalists were kept outside the massive tent until mid-afternoon on Monday, adding another level of secrecy to a project that's been closely guarded since it was announced in late 2012.

Monday's premiere is the culmination of years of planning, filming and marketing "Star Wars" for a new generation.

"The Force Awakens" reunites the cast of the original trilogy for the first time since 1983's "Return of the Jedi," though it is expected to introduce a new crop of characters who can sustain the franchise for years to come.

"The Force Awakens" opens to the public Friday and some expect the film to break box office records, as it has already with presale tickets.


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