Cinemas packed out at midnight as Stars Wars premiers in London
Star Wars fans across the country packed out cinemas from midnight as they flocked to get the first viewing of the hotly-anticipated The Force Awakens following its glitzy premiere at London’s Leicester Square.
The film, which was released to cinemas at one minute past midnight, has already received overwhelmingly positive reviews with critics calling it the ‘best blockbuster since the original’ and it has already broken box office records.
Fans, many dressed as the films characters, queued from yesterday evening outside their local cinema to get first entry to the screening – after more than £55million was taken in record-breaking advance ticket sales. Cinema staff had welcomed fans to dress up as Luke Skywalker and Star Wars’ newest villain Kylo Ren, with major chains such as Cineworld, Odeon and Vue all flinging open their doors at midnight for special showings.
At an Odeon cinema in Springfield Quay, Glasgow, eight screens were dedicated to the long-awaited film which showed at midnight, 12.15am, 12.30am and 1am. One group of very eager fans turned up to begin their wait at 4.30pm, according to staff.
Brothers Stephen and Alexander Dick from Paisley said they had grown up watching Star Wars and had to be among the first in line to see it. Teacher Stephen, 25, said: ‘I’ve got work tomorrow but it’s totally worth it, staying up this late. We’re going again tomorrow with the family but we are the biggest fans so we have to see it straight away.’
Sean Tinney, 31, attended the midnight showing dressed as Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, a costume he said he put together for Halloween and decided to wear again. He said: ‘My dad liked the films and I enjoyed watching them with him. It’s a story about good versus evil. It’s got everything, and even the evil characters are quite endearing.’
Elsewhere in the country, cinemas in major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and London also put on dozens of additional showings as they cashed in on the long-awaited sequel. Within 24 hours of tickets being released in October, Vue alone sold 10,000 in the first 90 minutes of business.
The movie’s hotly-anticipated release comes after fans dressed in their favourite Star Wars outfits for The Force Awakens premiere in London last night, which saw the all-star cast of the film – from newcomer Daisy Ridley to Harrison Ford – walk the red carpet.