According to the New York Times, ardent Star Wars fans have been standing on line/standing in line/queuing up in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif., to see The Force Awakens since noon, Dec. 5. You would think this is a fan’s opportunity to snag the best seats in an non-reserved-seating theater. But no. It’s more hardcore than that.
Fans have eschewed Fandango and amctheatres.com and are queuing up to buy tickets.
Here’s how it works, according to this fan group’s Facebook page (they have a Web site, too): You sign up on their clipboard, then wait with them. If you leave, you log out on the clipboard, and repeat when you return.
After you’ve spend a total of 24 hours in the line with them, “you will be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase, at face value, a pair of tickets to the opening show…. For each additional 24 hours you log, you will be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase one extra ticket - up to the maximum requested at registration...and while supplies last.”
So, why wait in line for the opportunity to buy a ticket right before the movie’s opening when you can purchase one in advance, at home, in the comfort of your Star Wars pajamas?
The New York Times quotes fan and line-sitter Erik Murillo: “At night you freeze and in the daytime you cook, but you come for the camaraderie and the chance to be a part of cinematic history. ... Besides, there are traditions to be upheld.”
Standing on a line days in advance is indeed a tradition, and a wonderful opportunity to bond with people who are as impassioned about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber as you are. In Southern California. Here in the 40+ degree weather of New York City, that tradition would be less fannish and more fanatic. If I had free time and no bills to pay, I might consider dropping everything for what is likely to be a fabulous insta-bonding experience; because I don't, I purchased my tickets in advance.
Would you be willing to stand in a line for tickets for days with your new best friends with the very real risk of being shut out of the first screening? Let us know in the comments.