Okay, so I am all for being a movie fan. But this? This is nuts!! Since last Wednesday, 11-11-09, people have started to line up on the streets of Westwood for the Twilight: New Moon premiere. The premiere is tonight, Monday 11-16-09. These people are not waiting in line for tickets. No, they are waiting in line just to get a glimpse of their favorite actors as they walk the red carpet. Some might call this folly; others might call it devotion. I call it amazing, so I took some pictures to share with you.
The line begins at the corner of Broxton and Le Conte. It winds over to Westwood and Le Conte, drops down to Weyburn, snakes over to Tiverton, climbs up Tiverton and continues East on Le Conte. It’s tent after tent – a long chain of inflatable beds, sleeping bags, homemade signs, camping chairs and fast food bags. This is what I would call “fan-based homelessness”. These people are camped out, night and day, sleeping in the street.
What’s remarkable is the demographic – it’s not just teenaged girls. There are fanboys and there are a LOT of quasi-middle-aged women. In fact, there was a delegation from TWImoms.com with a presence in the line. And let me tell you, while I was there shooting pictures, the TWImoms were involved in an altercation with another Twi-fan group about the fact that one of them had CUT THE LINE! Horrors!! It actually took a security guard from the theater (blocks away) to mediate the dispute. Insults were hurled. Voices were raised. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out who prevailed in the end.
I spoke to a few people in the line, and was amazed to hear how far some of them had travelled – there were people from all over California (not a big surprise). But did you know there were people there from all over the country, and even from other countries… in this line… to watch the red carpet of a movie premiere? They don’t even GET to SEE the movie!!! They are only there to see the actors walk the carpet! I find this level of commitment mind-blowing.
So how do you spend/pass the time in a line like this? By reading Twilight books and magazines (naturally), playing cards, eating, etc. Many people told me that they had hotel rooms nearby so that they could shower and go to the restroom. THINK about the level of commitment. Is it devotion? Is it madness?
I can’t think of something in my life that would compel me thusly. I am impressed with this display of affection for a film, while at the same time a little freaked out at the parents who would let their teenaged daughters sleep in the streets for a week, just to lay eyes on a shaggy-haired English guy for a fleeting second. I think the solution would be: Twilight Convention. Set it up at Staples Center, have the entire cast show up, sell tickets, make it safe. Just me talking, but until then I hope that all of those Twi-hards are out of harm’s way. Have a good time out there tonight, Twi-hards. I predict helicopters to start swarming Westwood Village at 4PM, and continue through the night.