Die-hard Star Wars fans queue 24 hours for IMAX premiere tickets at Lido

19 November 2015 / 11 months 1 week ago

Natasha Meah
The New Paper
Nov 17, 2015

The avid Star Wars fan was clearly emotional.

"I'm going to cry. It feels good. I'm in a daze now," said Mr Nicholas Ho, 33, when he finally held the tickets.

He was first in line for the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh instalment of the hugely successful movie series that will be screened at Shaw Lido's Imax hall past midnight on Dec 17.

Yesterday, a month before the premiere, about 200 fans queued at Shaw House's Urban Plaza for tickets that went on sale at 9pm.

Only 190 packages - at $180 each - were on sale.

The package includes two tickets for the premiere screening, two more tickets to another Imax screening of the movie on another date and two sets of limited-edition movie collectibles.

The Star Wars 501st Legion cast also made a special appearance at the event, posing for photographs with eager fans and passers-by.


Mr Ho, a drummer, queued for 24 hours, starting at 9pm on Sunday.

"I just wanted to make sure I got the tickets," he said.

"I've been a Star Wars fan since I was three and my collection of Star Wars books has reached the ceiling.

"I have watched my DVDs countless times.

"I am so excited to see the original cast back together after 30 years. It's going to be very nostalgic."

Although Mr Ho had to go a day without a shower, he had his Star Wars books to keep him company and snacks to power him through. All that mattered to him was taking in the atmosphere with fellow fans.

The Star Wars saga has attracted loyal fans ever since the first film nearly 40 years ago, becoming a pop culture icon and launching one of the biggest movie franchises ever.

In 2012, Disney announced plans for three new films in the series, with acclaimed Hollywood film-maker J.J. Abrams entrusted with the reboot.

The next two people in line at the Urban Plaza also queued from 9pm the previous day.

Miss Goo Chui Ping, 42, and Miss Koh Chin, reeled in a friend, Miss Koh's cousin and Miss Goo's 68-year-old mother, to look after their spots when they had to go to work during the day.

Fortunately, the people queueing behind them didn't seem to mind.

"I grew up with Star Wars and I read all the books because I just couldn't get enough of the movie," said Miss Goo, a music teacher.

"I waited years and years for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace to come out. I watched that at the premiere and now it's time for this one."

When asked if they thought the package was expensive, both said: "There is no price to it. After today, it'll be more than $180."

Miss Koh added: "This is the movie of the millennium."

Miss Goo said: "I'm going to take my mother to the premiere. She took me to my first Star Wars movie, so now it's my turn to take her.

"She isn't as huge a fan as I am, but she is very familiar with it."

Mr Andreas Loh, 27, joined the queue at 1.15pm and Mr Alexander Choong, 24, at 2pm. They both had their lightsabers.

"Every Sunday, we join The Saber Authority where we attend Combat Saber training programmes," said Mr Loh. "We use real fighting techniques but with lightsabers as our weapons."

He also said that he and his friends were planning to dress up as Star Wars characters for the premiere. He plans to go as a Sith Lord.

Mr Choong said: "I've been a Star Wars fan all my life and I wouldn't want to miss an event like this. It's historic."


Advance purchases of tickets to anticipated blockbusters may be common, but at a price of $180?

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Light Side/Dark Side Package is the most expensive movie bundle in Singapore to date.

Past movie advance sales packages included a $98 Harry Potter marathon for all eight movies, The Dark Knight trilogy at $50 and The Hobbit marathon at $46. The Hunger Games marathon, currently on sale at Cathay, is priced at $40.

Most of these package deals would come with movie collectibles and snacks.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Light Side/Dark Side Package comprises two tickets to the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens Imax 3D midnight screening in Singapore, two Star Wars: The Force Awakens IMAX 3D vouchers, four regular popcorn combo vouchers, one set of Light Side collectibles (includes a T-shirt, mug and collectible card) and a set of Dark Side collectibles.

A ticket to an IMAX screening during peak hours costs $22.

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