Local Theaters Filled for Latest Batman Movie
Perhaps the summer’s most anticipated thriller yet, Batman swooped into theaters at 12:01 a.m. Friday
The last of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises” picks up eight years after the previous film, “The Dark Knight,” finished and features a new villain named Bane.
The opening has played to packed theaters across the country this weekend, though many moviegoers were stunned and still talking about the mass shooting at a Batman premiere in a Denver suburb.
No problems were reported for the opening Friday at Sandhills Stadium 10 in Southern Pines. The theater here prepared for the crowds and opened three screens to fit those who braved the rain and lines.
The cinema also marked the occasion with a “Dark Knight Movie Marathon,” which included viewings of the other two Batman movies prior to the feature presentation. It started at 6 p.m. with “Batman Begins” and continued with “The Dark Knight” at 8:45 p.m., ramping up fans for the long-awaited premiere.
Though anticipation and excitement were running high, nobody could be found in costume as the masked vigilante. A few T-shirts with the famed Batman symbol across the front could be spotted among moviegoers.
Cinema staff predicted that people would begin arriving several hours in advance, as they did for the midnight showings of the “Twilight Saga” and “Harry Potter” movies. But a severe storm that struck around 8 p.m. rained on potential prefilm festivities.
General Maanager Tommy Stanifer said the crowds were considerably lesser than the “Twilight” movies, which he estimates to be the biggest midnight premieres hosted at the theater. Still, Sandhills 10 sold out two theaters and mostly filled a third.
If the crowds had been larger, the theater would have opened more screens to accommodate the audiences.
As the midnight hour drew nearer, audience members leaned back in their chairs, popcorn in one hand and drink in the other, and settled in for the feature flick.
The movie lasted until 3 a.m. As the screen faded to black on the nearly three-hour flick, a collective gasp emerged from the crowd.
Many sat in their seats for several minutes after the final scene, stunned at what they had just witnessed. The lobby was quickly swamped with happy moviegoers “ohhing” and “ahing” about the film.
“I almost teared up at the end,” was a common phrase for folks leaving the theater.
The Facebook statuses and Twitter posts erupted within minutes. “Absolutely loved The Dark Knight Rises!” and “An awesome conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy, indeed,” read some of the comments.
The consensus appeared to be that Nolan ended the trilogy and tied up all the loose ends.
Contact Kirsten Ballard at Kirsten@thepilot.com. Contact Sarah Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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