In honor of the Mockingjay premiere tonight, I figured this discussion was timely enough to talk about.
I went to my first midnight movie premiere the summer before my sophomore year of college. I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it was an experience that I won’t ever forget.
I went to a small theatre in my town, decked out in my Slytherin house colors, and sat in the back row with my best friend. It was late, but the theatre was so alive with the energy of the fans. I remember hearing other people laugh at favorite lines from the book and how the cheers were louder for Mrs. Weasley’s famous, “Not my daughter you, bitch!” line than Voldemort’s actual death scene. I remember crying a little when the credits rolled and how it felt to know that others were there with me, experiencing those same emotions. These were characters that I grew up with and it was amazing to be surrounded by people who loved them as much as I did for one last time. I wouldn’t have wanted to see that movie alone.
That following year I started going to more premiers. I was hooked on the excitement of the other fans and I wanted to be in the theatre to share that experience with them. I wanted to wear costumes and talk favorite moments and characters with other fans before the opening previews. I wanted to be a part of the premiere experience and not just a next day movie go-er.
So I went to the Hunger Games premiere dressed as Katniss Everdeen, complete with combat boots and a bad-ass braid. (Finally a brunette heroine!) My friends and I sat in the theatre (one of many that night) and admired the costumes of the other movie-goers. A trio of girls dressed like the glamorously glittered Capitol citizens; a pair of boys in Team Peeta and Team Gale shirts. We were an hour early, but I was absorbed in the excitement of being there.
Then in the spring I went to the premier of the Avengers, decked out in my favorite Marvel apparel. Surrounded by Captain Americas and guys in Iron Man t-shirts, I talked comic books and X-Men with my friend’s fraternity brothers. I laughed as they hid beer in their candy boxes. And when Joss Whedon’s scripting combined with Robert Downy Jr.’s personality to create such memorable lines as, “That man is playing Galaga. Thought we woudn’t notice, but we did” I knew other people appreciated the artistry in that as much as I did. Premiere theatres share their emotions; people yell and shout and join the movie experience instead of just watching from their seats. It’s a fan experience and it’s infectious.
Going to a premiere showing is more fun than a regular night at the theatre. There aren’t little kids spilling popcorn everywhere, cellphones clicking away in the dark, or chaperones shushing their preteens. Everyone’s there because they’ve been waiting for months to see this movie, because they’ve been following the casting and the promotional pictures, and because they want to be a part of the premier, too.
Have you ever been to a midnight movie premiere? What’s your favorite part? Let me know in the comments down below!