Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Premiere

On Thursday, December 17th, R2-D2 and I participated in a 4-Day event called the "Galactic Gathering" at the Bangor Mall Cinemas 10.

R2-D2 and I got to see the movie at a private, 10:45 p.m. showing!

The lobby of the cinema was set up for a handful of vendors while R2-D2 and I were paired up with photographer, Jeff Kirlin, of A Thing Of The Moment photography.  We had a donation jar out for pictures with R2-D2, the proceeds being split evenly between two charities;  The Children's Miracle Network and Spruce Run.  

Paul J. Bussiere R2-D2 and photographer Jeff Kirlin (the king of selfies!)

R2-D2 stands ready in our make-shift photo booth

Opening Night

Everyone got set-up good and early as we knew what to expect:  Big crowds!

And we had a LOT of people in the lobby, standing in line to pick up pre-purchased tickets.  So many it wrapped around outside the building.

Adding to the chaos was the three news stations doing live broadcasts from the theater.  All three asked if R2 would be available for an interview.  They sorted out the time frame that worked best for each of them.  R2-D2 and I would chat with the local NBC affiliate for a few minutes, then we would participate in the live shot for CBS.  Once that was completed, we headed over to the ABC/FOX affiliate for their live shot.  We then headed back to our photography spot.  

Television live shots galore!
Some people were hesitant to take pictures, afraid they would lose their spot in line.  But people were really great about stepping in and out of line to participate.  

As the first showings opened, we had a brief pause in the action, then we were right back at it.  Thursday and Friday we were there from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m..  Saturday we were there from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. then Sunday was 2 p.m. to 5 p.m..

After the last of the evening shows had been admitted, those of us part of the event were able to see a private showing at 10:45 p.m..  I got permission for R2-D2 to join me in the theater, just as they had for the 3D remake of The Phantom Menace.  

Friday, Saturday and Sunday Shows

Just as we had on opening night, R2-D2 worked flawlessly during our entire time there.  The real fun was the amount of people coming over to get a picture with R2-D2.  Over 700 pictures were taken, here's the Facebook gallery!

Here's a few favorites...

On Sunday, I put on my Stormtrooper armor and had a few fun photos wearing it...

Over the four days, R2-D2 got to spend the night recharging in the Cinema office.  The staff grew really fond of having R2-D2 greet them each morning!

The event was a lot of fun but it was time to get R2-D2 loaded up and heading for home.  We would have a one day break, then off to a school visit Tuesday!

AND.....we raised over $500!  That will be shared between the two referenced charities.