Security set at local Star Wars premiers

MILLERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — When Midstate movie theaters premier Star Wars: The Force Awakens this week, security policies will vary.

At the Twin Valley Players Colonnade Theater in Millersburg, the 7 p.m. Star Wars showing on Thursday night showing is already sold out, and tickets for the 10 p.m. showing are going fast.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Adam Steppy, general manager of the 142-seat theater, “the opportunity to see Star Wars, I mean, to be able to say to people, you saw it opening night, you saw it before everyone else.”

Steppy is expecting a large crowd Thursday when the theater will host a premier party featuring fully costumed Star Wars characters from the 501st Legion club and giveaways from a local radio station. “It’s not just for those who have tickets on Thursday night,” Steppy added. “It’s for everybody who wants to be part of the fun or maybe has tickets for later in the week.”

While the Colonnade encourages moviegoers to wear full costumes, other large movie chains are restricting certain items. According to a statement from AMC Theaters, “Put on your costume, bring your lightsaber, turn it off during the movie, and leave the blaster, face paint and Darth Vader mask at home.”

The Regal Entertainment Group notes: “guests of all ages with masks, props, face paint or weapons are not allowed into Regal Entertainment Group locations. This includes lightsabers and face-obscuring hoods.”

At the Colonnade, Steppy says he’ll rely on the vigilance of moviegoers to report anything suspicious, and he says the local police department will have a presence during the premier party. He also says his small town theater welcomes anyone but knows most of the tickets so far have been sold to “regulars” who are well-known to theater staff.

“We don’t expect issues,” said Steppy, who says his intimate theater offers a place where Star Wars moviegoers will get a true fan’s experience while watching the film. “And you saw it sitting next to C-3PO and Chewbacca. That’s the kind of thing we want.”

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