In 1977, the original Star Wars became one of the earliest certified "blockbusters," with fans getting so excited about the movie that they'd line up for blocks just for the opportunity to get tickets to a screening. 40 years later, fans are just as excited to see a new installment, with Variety confirming a line at the TCL Chinese
Caroline Ritter and Andrew Porters reportedly traveled to the location from Australia, two years after being wed in a Star Wars-themed ceremony in front of the theatre while waiting in line for the release of The Force Awakens. The couple had reportedly planned to head to Los Angeles for the premiere in 2015, and when they discovered the theatre was interested in sponsoring a Star Wars-themed wedding, the two knew it was the perfect way to commemorate their relationship.
“I mean, this is where it all started,” Porters shared. “The management of the Chinese does a great job of allowing us to do this. It’s a very close-knit group of friends that feels like a family.”
While long lines and Star Wars screenings have gone hand-in-hand since the original film's debut, it was in 1999 that the phenomenon went to the next level.
With The Phantom Menace being so heavily anticipated and theaters being initially prohibited from selling advance tickets, devoted fans began lining up a month in advance. In addition to this opportunity giving fans the first opportunity to procure seats to the very first screenings, it also offered a unique networking opportunity, giving everyone in line a memorable social event in which they could meet hundreds of the world's most passionate Star Wars fans.
In recent years, tickets have been available for fans to purchase online weeks in advance, with some theaters even offering reserved seating. While tickets for the opening night screenings of The Last Jedi were made available online, the fans who chose to line up wanted to celebrate their excitement with their community.
Another bonus for fans waiting in line to see The Last Jedi is that they're in a prime location to watch the official premiere Saturday afternoon, potentially catching a glimpse of their favorite stars. For The Force Awakens, the theatre
“I began loving Star Wars because of her and the original movie really holds up, 40 years later,” Ritter expressed of her love for the saga. “I’d have to say that my favorite is The Empire Strikes Back but I really loved Rogue One too.”
The Last Jedi debuts in theaters on December 15.