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Trilogy Tuesday Reports – Part Four!

December 20, 2003 at 8:55 pm by Demosthenes  - 

To all those who’ve sent in Trilogy Tuesday reports, I can only say – I’ve been overwhelemed by the response. There’s a pile more that I still haven’t touched and I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get to. Which is not to say that they’re bad reports, just that I don’t physically have the time to get to them all. Here’s some more including a sad tale from Christchurch in New Zealand.

Ringer Micaela, Wichita, KS

I so enjoyed the costumes the kids wore (see news report below). Me, I wore comfy clothes, carried a pillow, and packed Tums, Tylenol and cough drops, (which rescued our neighboring moviegoer during Two Towers).

This all began for me as a birthday present back in October. My favorite theater in Wichita, the enormously elegant Warren Theatre, was granted the Trilogy Marathon, and I stood in line for an hour to get the perfect seats in the balcony… I bought two, in order to bring my friend Roxy along. The balcony hold the only reserved seats, and they cost twice as much as the main floor at $50. But hey, no line to wait in. I was surprised not to see a line at all when we got there at 11:30 for lunch… can Wichita be that out of it, I wondered? Nah.. they’d all been let in early out of the windy bright Wichita weather.

While there were no concession breaks, the show was well managed. Simple rules were announced: no switching seats, order from the concession stand and feel free to eat in your seats, trash to the end of the rows. Those of us in the balcony were served by waiters during the hour-long intermissions (shows at 1, 5:30 and 10 pm) We started on time for every show. We cheered for every show. Roxy, my friend, had not seen Two Towers extended, so it was a special treat for her. I was glad I had my pillow, as I had to squirm a bit to find a comfortable position, but it was great to see tiny details I have missed over the months of watching Fellowship, shocking to see the Cave Troll and Helm’s Deep up so close, and thrilling to be that close to seeing ROTK. When it started, no more squirming, I was totally involved and only noticed an hour into it that my leg had “gone to sleep”. I did have to ask Roxy if we could hold hands during Shelob.

Our gifts came at the end of the last movie, and I’m so pleased with this, the best remembrance of a special time. Well, this is not a review of the movie, which is so magnificent an achievement…I am thrilled I lived long enough to see it. But as to Trilogy Tuesday, I want them to do it again, with all three movies in Extended mode, and I will be there! (Perhaps next year, when I turn 50, as does Lord of the Rings).

Ringer Susan, Christchurch, NZ

I wish I could say that ALL the theatres in New Zealand (home of Lord Of The Rings, right?!) had done as great a job with Trilogy Tuesday as the those in the US, but I’m afraid I can’t. My partner and I had the misfortune to be attending the event at Hoyts 8 Moorhouse in Christchurch – which in a nutshell, was more than a little disappointing. I should have been suspicious when in the weeks leading up to Dec 17th there was nothing in the local paper about it and no special effort made to promote it through Hoyts website, AND that they were billing it as a “double feature” separate from the midnight ROTK screening. Consequently the 400-seat theatre was only half-full, which seemed such a shame.

During FOTR there were a number of problems with the picture and sound quality – white bars would periodically flash across the screen; the picture suddenly became dimmer for long sections of the movie (as if the brightness of the projector had been reduced?); there were several glitches in the soundtrack (which wasn’t loud enough to drown out the bass rumble from some other movie playing on the screen next door) the worst of which was a 15-20 second silence during Boromir’s death scene!!! I didn’t go out and complain for fear of missing a favourite scene, but did give them some “feedback” in the break before TTT. Things were a little better in the second film, but still the white bars, and the long periods of reduced brightness (in places which are not that dark in the original movie or the DVD) kept jolting us out of the Middle Earth experience and back to “reality”.

So, we got to the second break, glad to have seen those new scenes on the big screen, but missing the feeling of total immersion we’d been anticipating. The lobby was of course jammed with people waiting for ROTK, which was being shown on 4 screens in the Hoyts complex. Many of those who’d just arrived had seats in the theatre where we’d been watching the “double feature”. Because we’d bought our tickets very early we were able to keep the same seats for ROTK, but many of the faces around us had changed and I can only assume many of the people who’d sat through FOTR and TTT with us had to change seats for ROTK – so no great “shared experience” energy among the crowd.

After waiting in a long line for the loos, we got back to our seats at 11:55pm – expecting the movie to start at 12:01am. It got to 12:10am and nothing happening – people were starting to get impatient, but there was no explanation from the theatre. We then sat through at least 20 minutes of trailers, and adverts, some twice! until the movie finally started half an hour late!!! I could possibly just have coped with the poor picture and sound in FOTR and TTT if we’d at least been able to go straight into ROTK, but this long wait and bombardment with advertising bullshit was the worst interruption imaginable to what was supposed to be a continuous movie experience.

I loved ROTK and am off to see it again tomorrow, but am sad that my first viewing of this masterpiece, which was created with so much love and attention to detail, was soured by frustration at the lack of care taken by Hoyts. I feel they really let down not only South Island LOTR fans, but also the filmmakers, and New Line, and Roadshow distributors. Hoyts quite clearly didn’t get the point of “Trilogy Tuesday”, and now I’m kicking myself for not spending the extra money to go to the Embassy in Wellington. The saving grace of this whole journey was the long drive home yesterday (after a few hours sleep). We spent 6-hours on a glorious summer day travelling through the spectacular Southern Alps landscape where the films were shot – plenty of time to savour/discuss the wonderful memories of ROTK. THIS felt really like being immersed in Middle Earth.

Finally, many thanks to PJ and all involved in making these fantastic films, but definitely no credit to Hoyts 8 Moorhouse, for their presentation.

Ringer Doug, Winnipeg, CA

My name is Doug and I attended the Trilogy Tuesday in Winnipeg, Canada at the Famous Players Silver city at Polo park. That’s a very long title eh.

There were four of us who had tickets for this event and were planning to arrive at the theater around am, thinking the doors opened at noon. We had a struggle to get up Tuesday morning and after my friend’s NBA live 2004 game, which took 30 minutes, we then headed over to the theater. We were dressed for the cold as it was about 15 degrees F and were at the theater by am.

As we got closer to the theater we saw that there was only 5 people in line. So I waited in line and my friends ditched me to go and get some coffee at the local shop. When they got back I was excited not to see there coffee they had got me, but I was explaining to them that I was on TV. I also noticed a sign on the door of the theater that the will be letting in movie goers at 1030am. I was excited about this and the ability to get out of the cold. The staff let us in only in groups of 10. I was number ten and looked back at my friends and laughed at them, poking fun at them for being number ten. We were ushered to our theater and given the plaque with 3 stills in it. I have two pictures of Pippin and one picture of the shire.

I waited for three hours in the theater before the fellowship started. I was indeed tired from the previous night and was falling asleep throughout this movie. The best cheers during this movie was when Aragon cut of the Uruk’s head. The credits soon came and people stood and gave a thunderous applause. It was a awesome moment to be in.

The Two Towers was also an amazing movie. One of my friends had never seen The two Towers and I was excited to see his face during the movie. The hilarious moments were when the Gandalf and the Rohan Army were coming down the hill towards the Uruks, the girl next to me almost to off my head with her arm. She was very excited about that part. The second hilarious part was when Gandalf and the top actors of Two Towers were looking towards Mordor and said that Helms deep was the beginning and the biggest war is still to come. When the last line was said a guy in the audience yelled out the war would start in 1 hour, the audience laughed so much to the point where Gollum’s lines were being unheard.

After a match on Game boy Advance, the lights dimmed and we were shown the Return of the King. This was an awesome movie. I do not know how to describe it. I would recommend this movie to everyone and indeed bring tissues if you are a die hard fan, you will need them. The synopsis by the end of the movie was a lot of crying or tears in their eyes and when the lights came up there was such a applause that it gave me Goosebumps. This movie was amazing and I cannot wait to see the EE version. Congrats Peter Jackson and crew, you all did an amazing job. Cannot wait till The Hobbit.

I would also like to say that many of the ringers at the movie mentioned Theonering.net. Your website is cleary huge. Keep up your great work.

Ringer John, New Brunswick, New Jersey

I’ve never been particularly good at fandom. I’m generally too jaded and cynical. So despite my eagerness to see the films all as one block – I was a bit worried about being stuck in the “crazed fan” climate for nearly 12 hours.

All of my fears were waylaid. The vast majority of people were very pleasant and considerate. Most were amazingly down to earth and did not take themselves too seriously, while obviously holding these films in a huge amount of reverence. I did not hear a single cellphone and I can count on one hand the number of people who shuffled in a disturbing manner, or even breathed loudly during the films…particularly RoTK.

The theater – Leows New Brunswick – treated the fans royally. They took it as seriously, yet as good natured, as most of the fans seem to. There was a quality, catered chicken and rib dinner for those who wanted it (high priced, but all you can eat). The concessions were remarkably reasonable for “entertainment venue” food and drink. They were open to people bringing in outside snacks and drinks – and made sure that any special needs were attended to. And of course, we got those nice WETA freebies.

RoTK went on at 10:00 pm. Thankfully, as for as energized as I was, I was a bit wiped out by that time (happens when you get “old”). At first I thought the cheering and clapping at a screen was a bit silly. But by the time Rohan “answered the call”, I couldn’t help but feel the emotion and power myself. Not just of the film, but of the sincere love of the fans for these characters, actors, the story, and…the *being* with others who understand this obsession. I’ve seen the film again with “normal” people in a “normally” crowded theater. Most of the patrons there expressed little difference between the previews for Spider Man 2 and RoTK. They seemed equally (un)excited about both. It was an entirely different experience sharing the moments with sincere fans. In contrast, I will always remember the deft silence, the tense build, and the cheering and thundering clap of the T.T. fans as Sam confronts Shelob, the Rohirrim savage the orcs at Minas Tirith, and the Ring is finally cast into the lake of fire. I haven’t felt that innocent, joyful, and truly awed by film or book in a very long time. Probably not since the first time I read LoTR – many years ago.

Upon leaving I asked my girlfriend what she thought (rhetorically). She replied that she loved it, but was sad it was all over. I agreed. Leaving these characters was much like turning the last page of the novel, Return of the King, for the first time. You feel, even if they are with you forever, their journey is over and you’ll never quite revisit them the same way again. I’ll miss that yearly excitement of the past 3 winters. Waiting, watching, wondering and finally getting my hopes mostly fulfilled. I am honored to have been part of this historic screening. The entire cast and crew of the films, not to mention the fans, should all feel themselves graced for having been part of an experience which can touch so many people. ven jaded cynics like myself. I’m moved very little these days, it says quite a bit about all involved that I feel so inwardly touched by these experiences.

Ringer Nuprin, St Louis

Okay, well. I am going to give you a brief account of the PEOPLE at my Trilogy Tuesday, rather than my reaction to the films themselves. No words can describe how wonderful I felt seeing all three movies together. Take total Tolkien fandom bliss and multiply it by infinity, and it will be a fraction of my enjoyment. But again, I wanted to tell you of the folks around me.

When I arrived early in the morning of Tuesday, I saw that there was a group of about 2 dozen people standing outside the theater that had been there since 9pm the night before. I felt a pang of regret that I did not join these wonderfully jolly folks. I approached them and at first (because it was God-awful windy and cold), we only just huddled around a small grill that was lit with some charcoal for warmth. I caught word of someone going out to get donuts for everyone. This was my first glimpse at how wonderful and kind hearted these folks were.

Then, a fellow who shared my first name approached me and asked “did you sign the seating chart?” Hmmm, well, I hadn’t heard of any. Basically, what happened is that someone had put together an exact diagram of the seats of the theater we were going to be in. It was drawn on a huge board of graph paper. People that were showing up were given the chance to sign this seating chart to secure a seat. And when I asked how this was going to be enforced, someone answered “with common decency”. I thought the idea not only brilliant, but also very kind hearted that someone would take the time to organize this chart to give people that showed up early and chance to secure a good spot. That also gave me and my wife (who had just gotten over the flu) a chance to wait for the rest of the morning in our car with the heat on. God bless these folks!!!

However, when we got into the theater, only about half the people got their seats. The management of the theater so very very pissed off that someone had the decency to organize this, undermining their authority about a “first come, first serve” seating chance. Well, the organizers of the chart were told to stop “telling people where to sit” and to give up the chart, less they be thrown out. Further investigation on my part found out that a couple of guys who had just shown up went straight to 2 seats that was empty (and it was very good seats, right in the middle). These seats were being tentatively held for folks who had camped out the night before, signed the seating chart, and just had not gotten tot he theater so that they could claim these seats. When the chart was brought up to the guys stealing those seats, they brought it up with the management, and management basically told them to hang it up.

I’m not sure how things panned out for everyone, but there was a bit of tension there. By that time, I had already gotten my seat and was taking care of my wife, making sure she had enough water, was comfortable, took her medicine, etc. So, that’s how my Trilogy Tuesday started. I was very unhappy to see the efforts of fans that camped out the night before wasted on such lack of understanding and the failure to just “do the decent thing” and honor the chart. The theater management getting involved to try and “save face” made it even worse (shame on you Wehrenberg…shame on you). But when the movies started, I just got lost and didn’t even think about it until I got back onto TORN. I had to share that story to thank the folks that organized that chart for giving me and my wife (along with almost 2/3 of the rest of the theater) and chance at seeing these movies with the best seats possible. What a noble effort!

Ringer Chris, Hollywood, CA

Howdy, I love your site and I was compelled to write in a report on the Hollywood California screening since I hadn’t seen one yet.

I went by myself, with a single ticket I had won on e-bay for a meager $96.50. I say meager because groups of tickets had been going for upwards of $200-$400 apiece. And yes, it is true that one particular set of juicy seats were bought for over a grand each. Yoiks.

My friends and I all had tickets for ROTK on 12/17, but I had always secretly harbored a desire to go to Trilogy Tuesday. I had been bitterly dissapointed when the event sold out in 15 minutes, and I thought I would never get the chance to attend the grand event. Also, my friends and my wife turn into whiners when confronted with the prospect of staring at a screen for 12 hours.

Anyhoow, I met the ticket seller at the theater ahead of time, he was a nice gent who had an extra ticket to unload, and I was more than happy to oblige. I didn’t have to wait in line for my seat, because dear friends, the Arclight theater in Hollywood is assigned seating only.

A quick aside; I love the Arclight theater. Tickets for regular movies are more expensive than normal theaters – $11 for off peak hours and $14 for prime time; but in exchange you get –

1.) The L.A. Times rated #1 picture and sound quality in Los Angeles.
2.) Assigned seats, which are a dream for big movie events.
3.) A no kid under 4 policy for PG-13 and R rated movies. Awesome.
4.) A no commercial policy, period. Remember when movie theaters showed only trailers?
5.) A no admittance policy 5 minutes after the movie starts. (They waved this one for Trilogy Tuesday, understandably, but for regular movies this policy rocks.)

The Arclight has a dozen top notch theaters, but Trilogy Tuesday was to take place only in the adjacent historic and recently renovated Cineramadome. An 800 seat theater that was one of the first of its kind, a geodesic dome curved screen type thang. Great sound and picture, though the curviture distortion at the edges of the screen isn’t my favorite thing in the world.

So, the event. I picked up my laminated pass with lanyard and proceeded to my seat. On the way there were display cases of sideshow Weta Collectables, it looked like all of them actually. Very cool. There were also life sized statues of Lurtz and a Ring Wraith. Nice.

I sat in my seat for awhile, the theater still mostly empty, and savored the moment. The King of the Golden Hall played quietly, this was going to be cool.

I got back up and went back to the lobby, it was getting crowded, with a fair amount of people in costume. As many people in costume as there were, there were an equal amount of television cameras. All the media had descended and they were interviewing anyone who looked remotely hobbitish. At anyone time there must have been half a dozen reporters and camera operators, the bright lights blaring. This was Hollywood alright, and the media was going to portray it as if everyone in attendance, all 800 of us, were dressed to the Tolkien nines. In reality there might have been 2 dozen people in costume, tops.

But, as much as us cynics tend to snicker, I deep down have always envied the spirit of those compelled to literally dress the part, and I truly believe they bring up the energy level and emotional resonance to big movie events. What can I say, I’m a softie; I do get choked up when an eight-year old dresses like a hobbit.

Speaking of kids, THAT kid, some would say that obnoxious kid, from the Jimmy Kimmel show, was there. He was dressed as a hobbit and hamming it up for the camera. Good for him.

Finally, after getting the obligatory bladder buster LOTR souvenir cup, I headed back to my seat. The energy was high for an Arclight crowd, which I will say is usually very subdued. As much as I love the Arclight, you tend to get more old 35 year old fogeys like me. The energy doesn’t typically hold a candle to the Chinese or the Village in Westwood. But today/tonight it seemed the gang was up for it. My seatmates all introduced themselves, all very friendly, and very young.

An Arclight staffer got on the mike and thanked us all for being there, and to his credit he didn’t dawdle. He explained how it was going to work, with the breaks between movies, the parking validation and assorted details. He also mentioned we would be getting a gift at the end. Cool.

The credits rolled, and we cheered. Once again I was in middle earth, surrounded by friendly people that I didn’t know, but shared a kindred spirit with. I was stoked.

The movie was a blast especially because it was the EE on the big screen. I think we all know what the definitive versions of these movies are Mr. Jackson, wink wink.

My butt numb and my neck sore I took a short walk in between films one and two. The Arclight had a nifty food court set up for the big night with a hot dog stand and box lunches available in the adjacent cafeteria. The whole atmosphere in that area, the box office lobby and courtyard, always feels like a hip scene, and this day, now night, was no different. More costumed people, gearing up for the midnight premieres, I saw a young woman in a white robe. Gandalf? Nope, she had Saruman’s staff. Very cool. Didn’t see any swords and such, the Arclight had made announcements and had signs pleading with people to leave such things at home.

Back in my seat and ready for Two Towers. Another staffer got on the mike and announced we had a special guest to introduce the next movie. My heart jumped. Sean Astin? He lives here you know. Nope. It was THAT kid. Some, and now I, would say that obnoxious kid from Jimmy Kimmel live. Oy. He got up there and yammered a bit with some jokes that fell flat and then tried to get us to chant “Lord of the Rings” after he chanted “Lord”. We all chanted “Start the movie!” instead.

And so the movie rolled. While I think Fellowship benefits from the extra stuff in the EE, I think Two Towers is made a wholly better movie. Great stuff with the brothers and Denethor, fantastic floatsam and jetsam scene. Again, the crowd got into it, especially as the movie approached its climax. You could feel the energy rising, and as Gandalf led the Rohirrim down the hill we all cheered like the spaz geeks we are. We were excited because the scene kicks butt yes, but we were also pumped because we knew that the King was soon to return.

After Towers finished, I returned to the lobby to check out the scene. It was more chaotic than ever, just as many news crews, the Kimmel kid was back at it; and I would swear the people in costume were multiplying. The energy in the room was thick.

Back in my seat, Gawd was I tired; but oh so tingly in anticipation. An announcement was made that we had another special guest to introduce the movie. Oh great. Someone in the crowd groaned. “It’s okay” the Arclight staffer said “It’s someone good this time.”
Up to the mike stepped Sala Baker. Very cool, Sauron, Lurtz and the Witch King stood before us. He was a very sweet man who spoke briefly but from his heart. Rock on dude.

When the LOTR title card came up the biggest cheer of the night erupted. I felt it in my chest.
Personally, big surprise, I think the movie is a master piece. And strangely, I was especially gratified to see it with 800 other people with whom I will probably never see again. We all came with common purpose and spirit, and for those 11 plus hours we WERE a fellowship. A unique experience in my life to be sure. And yes, a spiritually gratifying one. You would never believe, if you saw me on Tuesday, wandering around like a kid on Christmas morning … I’m a pretty cynical no-nonsense dude who rolls his eyes at new age mumbo jumbo crap. But as I blubbered like a baby at those final scenes in ROTK, I was for that one moment at one and at peace with the universe.

Ahem, mushy moment over. Did I mention we got a nifty gift? As others have described; it was a frame plaque thingy with actual movie cells from each film. I got Gandalf in Moria, zombies in the dead marshes and a bunch of tents in ROTK. Neeto.

Ringer Donna, Oregon Coast

We had to drive 4 hours on Monday night to get up to Portland for Trilogy Tuesday. We wanted to be assured a good spot in line for the movies. We made it to the theater by 8:30pm and the 5 of us pulled out our camping gear and made ourselves at home. We ended up with 22 people ahead of us. A group 20 had been there since Sunday taking turns standing in line. We made friends with a couple of ladies who had to come down from Seattle, Wash to see the Trilogy. They had a hotel room but decided to sleep outdoors instead. We drove up from the southern Oregon Coast.

I was thrilled that the weather was clear no rain. I ended up sleeping in my chair bundled up in a sleeping bag and I would not have missed it for the world. After the Two Towers had come out last year I told my girlfriend wouldn’t it be awesome to see all 3 of the movies back to back on the big screen. We figured it was wishful thinking because it had never been done before with any other movies.

I remember the day I heard it was going to happen. I rushed to my girlfriend and told her about it. I was so excited thankfully my boss is a fan also and I got the time off work. We got another friend to go my daughter and my girlfriends daughter. Our own fellowship. That night I discovered we were very lucky to have gotten tickets because the ticket web site had eventually crashed by the overload of people trying to get tickets. Portland was the only place in Oregon it was showing.

One of the groups who was behind us in line for the ROTK had a really sweet couple getting married in line on Tuesday at 6:00pm. We ended up not being able to see it because they started movie # 2 at about 6:05pm. The people at the theater were wonderful. Allowed us to use their restrooms as long as possible. We got to bring food to eat in at the beginning. We got to go in about 12pm and find seats. There was a Trivia contest inside and a costume contest. Our group had 2 hobbits, 2 elves and 1 Lady from Rohan.

We had fun then at 2:00pm the movies began. I had seen the Fellowship several times when it first came out and I also have the Special Director’s Edition. I bought the Two Towers Special Director’s Edition but we all agreed to wait and see it on the big screen see it and for us it made it much more exciting.

I did rent it in August when it first came out. We had nice little breaks in between movies a free refill with purchase of a large drink which was a nice treat. I would say about 10 minutes before the Return of the King began you could feel the anticipation in the air everyone was excited. That was also when they announced we would be getting our gifts after the picture was over. I have to say I was a little confused at the start of the movie. But then the time flew by.

We loved the movie and I had completely forgotten I only had a few hours of sleep the night before. I was in awe at what I saw and by the end I was sad that after all this time it was finally done. Great job Peter Jackson it was a masterpiece, better than the first two movies and I loved them both also. I want to say that I would gladly pay money to see all 3 extended versions of the trilogy on the big screen again back to back. Because there is just something about watching them on a hugh screen with great sound that makes them memorable.

Thank you New Line and Peter Jackson for having the guts to try and do something different (having all 3 movies back to back) and making my wish come true. Also for the wonderful job you did at making JRR Tolkien’s wonderful story come to life.

Ringer Brian, Sioux Falls, SD

I attended the Trilogy Tuesday screening in Des Moines, Iowa. I traveled 280 miles from Sioux Falls, SD. I took my six year old son, who had fallen in love with the first two movies. I felt this day would be more than a once-in-a-lifetime event for him, as this will be a fond childhood memory for him for life.

I write this from the perspective of one who has not read the books and do not consider myself a “ringer”. When I saw Fellowship two years ago, I fell in love with the movie, and in a strange way, felt lucky that I had not read the books, as I could enjoy the movies without feeling let down about something being changed or left out. I didn’t even think I would be able to get tickets to the event. The Des Moines theater was one of the few that did not sell out the first day. I purchased my two tickets about 6-7 hours after they went on sale.

On Monday, December 15 bad weather was moving in and we decided to drive to Des Moines and spend the night instead of going Tuesday morning. On Tuesday morning, we had a late breakfast and went to the theater about 11:45 am. Whatever line there was had already let in. They gave us the Trilogy Tuesday all day pass lanyard, which was a nice touch, especially with a 6 year old. They put our ticket stub with the all day pass. The theater was about 1/3 full at that time. We were able to get our seats about 4 rows from the top, a little in from the aisle. The theater was pretty good about saving your own seat, as long as you were in the building. We just left our jackets there and we did not have any problems with that. We then had to pass the next 2 1/2 hours as our screening started at 2:15. The time went by pretty fast.

We greatly enjoyed the EE version of Fellowship. I had not watched it for about 6 months and it was fun to see the EE on the big screen. The movie started right on time and was over at 5:45pm. The credits started about 10 minutes before that, though, and a lot of us were running for the bathroom as soon as the credits started to roll. The theater, The Wynnsong 16, recognized this was a big event, and spent the time and money to get sponsors and presented everyone with a T-shirt that read:

The Lord of the Rings
The Return of the King
I Survived Trilogy Tuesday
12-16-03

The back of the shirts listed the sponsers. A very nice touch and a keepsake for life! Also, between the first two movies, they provided a free sack lunch from a local restaurant. Very good, indeed!

At 6:30, The Two Towers started. Since the EE had only been out for a month, and we only seen it a few times, we were very excited to see it on the big screen. The credits started to roll about 10:05 and movie ended a little before 10:15. We were told that Return of the King would start at 11:00 but they would be doing a giveaway at 10:50. We had to fend for ourselves for food, but there were a few fast food places open. We got back in our seats early and the theater had a costume contest for the few people that dressed up. The winner received 10 free movie passes, another nice touch from the theater.

When Return of the KIng started, there was only one preview (thank goodness!) and right to the movie. The theater manager tried to joke with us and say they were having problems with the movie and it might be a 1/2 hour wait. Nobody thought it was funny and he said he was just kidding and gave the signal to start the movie. We were all very relieved and settled in for 200 minutes of pure satisfaction. I was thoroughly blown away. It completed the trilogy with a huge exclamation point. I agree with Christopher Lee, who said Samwise, the ordinary man, is the hero. Now that I have seen all three movies, I will now settle in and read the books and I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy them. All in all, an incredible experience and one I will treasure for a lifetime.

Ringer Deja, Baltimore MD

The Senator Theater and its owner were an absolutely class act, start to finish. First, Tom (the owner) avoided all the confusion and discrimination in favor of those with T1 internet connections by independently deciding to sell his tickets on Saturday morning. In line. For cash only. His only regret was allowing people to buy up to 10 tickets.

While we were in line, he and his staff collected email addresses. A week before the showing, we received an email (and could find on the Senator’s website) detailed, specific, and correct instructions on when the doors would open, how seating would be arranged, and how people could get back in and out of the theater. And it all happened exactly as he said it would.

As a side note, I wrote him on Sunday night, since my family had to cancel out on the showing, leaving me with three tickets. He responded within 15 minutes, and connected me to Maegwen, who helped me sell two of the three. Congratulations and kudos to both for going the extra mile.

When I arrived to take my place in line, actors from the local Medieval Times theater were working the crowd, passing out stickers and markers for us to put on our seats once we entered the theater. No ticket? No sticker. This precluded the earlybirds from hogging all the best seats.

Upon entering (single file) we received a complimentary lanyard containing our TT pass, a coupon for the giveaway at the end, and several discount coupons from local eateries, which were heavily used in the one-hour break between FoTR and TTT. There were also pizza places within two blocks of the theater, and the concession stand ran full blast. Also, a local fencing school fenced in between the movies, and a humourous clip called “R2- Beneath the Dome” (think VH-1 Behind the Music-type satire) was shown.

I won’t review the movies (since I already did elsewhere), but it was *so* nice to go with like-minded fans to see these films all together. Days later, images and dialog still pop into my head at all hours.

I again really want to compliment Tom and the Senator Theater for an absolutely class act. I can only pray that New Line would consider another TT when the extended version of RoTK comes out.

Ringer Lesley, Montreal

Ever since I heard about Trilogy Tuesday, way back when you first posted speculation about it on TORn, I ve been looking forward to it. I even emailed the theater in my hometown (in Southern California) begging them to participate. Of course, this was before I even knew if I would be home in time to be there, what with starting university in Montréal. And of course, luck would have it that I would have my last final exam at 9am on the 17th of December. However, I knew that I still wanted to attend some sort of midnight showing of ROTK, even if I would become the psychotically crazy person on my floor.

When the first official news came into TORn on where the screenings would be held, I still had to wait, because the dates for Canada hadn t been posted. Then some info started leaking in, and I started to get worried, because there wasn t any information about Montreal. Sure, I would travel farther away for a screening, but only if I didn t have to worry about final exams! Then, the official dates came in for Canada, and I got so excited. The theater in Montreal was only a couple blocks away from my dorm!

So, on Halloween I set my alarm so I could get up and try to get a ticket over the internet. However, the website wasn t showing the Montréal theater, so I started to freak out. I sent an email to the guys in charge of it, and they replied that the website was screwing up, but they were selling them at the theater. So, I ran (well a combination of nervously walking, hopping, and skipping) to the theater and bought my ticket. I think on my way back, I must have had the goofiest smile on my face. Unfortunately, the tickets sold out soon after, and my friend wasn t able to get one, but I was still very excited to participate in this amazing event.

So, December 15th came around. I knew I had to study, because I wouldn t be able to the next day, but I couldn t get anything done. My friends thought it was very funny watching me, because I was so nervous whenever I was talking to them I would start picking up things and moving them, and then moving them back. I had originally planned on leaving at 7am to wait in line, but they talked some sense into me, how would I survive standing in line outside for several hours with my LA blood? So, I called the theater, and they said they wouldn t be opening the doors until 12, however the manager hinted to me that people could still get in line to wait earlier.

Finally, the day I had been looking forward to for about 6 months came. I ended up getting to the theater at 9:30, and I couldn t see anyone waiting outside, so I was going to wait across the street at a coffee shop til I saw people waiting. IR17;m very glad I didnR17;t, because I realized the movie theater is connected to one of the underground malls, and people had already been waiting by the entrance and were starting to go down the stairs. I ended up the second from the top of the stairs, about the 20th person in line.

However, I almost made a horrible mistake. I got up at 10:10 to walk around the mall and try to find a magazine to read, why study! I ended up, without my magazine, back in line at 10:25. Roughly 5 minutes later, suddenly one of the doors opened, and we realized they were letting us in early. Had I tried harder to find a magazine, I would have returned to find my stuff sitting on a step, alone and me being the first person in line outside the theater, while a lot of people were already waiting right outside the room it was being shown in. However, I was upset at the fans waiting in line at this point. If anybody has been to this theater, they know that the theater we were in was on the third floor, following humongous amounts of escalators and stairs next to them.

I decided to follow whoever was in front of me in line to see it they took the stairs or escalators. He took the stairs for the first mini-flight, and I kept going on the stairs, when he transferred to the escalators. Because I was carrying a rather large bag with heavy books in it, I dragged behind trying to climb the large staircase, and I lost my place in line, even when I took the escalator between the second and third floors. I was rather upset that the fans did not calmly walk up the escalators/stairs and keep the same line, but I guess everything went ok, because I still ended up with my favorite seat.

When everyone who had been waiting in line got into the theater, the theater worker closed and locked the doors, without leaving any indication that people were already lined up inside. I know several people who had been waiting were then separated from their friends who were coming later, but everyone caught up eventually. So, I was able to get some studying done in the hour and a half before they opened up the actual doors for us to sit down in. And as they began to let us into the room, we looked at the escalators, and noticed a lot of confused people coming up to wait in line behind us, realizing they weren t first, they were actually pretty far back in line. I felt sorry for them at first, then I recognized the fact, that I had been waiting in line longer than they had, and they were still at the same place that they would ve been had the doors never been unlocked or they had been always unlocked.

So, as we were filling into the theater, we were wondering what was taking so long, then I saw the boxes with WETA on them, and I suddenly got really excited. Yeah, we got free stuff! (Yes, I understand the price was probably just added onto the ticket price, but still, it s exciting getting unexpected presents.) I ran up the rows in the theater, and got a place smack dab in the middle of the theater, about 3 or 4 rows from the top. I probably would ve had the perfect seat one row down, but I was still exceptionally satisfied. Once I got into the theater, I gave up studying all together, I wouldn t want to bump the people next to me with the awful physics book, would I? I got my ROTK popcorn tub, put all my stuff in order, figured out what was in my film frame (Isildor cutting Sauron s finger, Sam sleeping in the Dead Marshes, and a shot of Sam in Frodo and Sam s first argument in ROTK), memorized the commercials they show us while waiting for movies to begin, and then got ready for the long haul.

The manager guys got up and talked to us, first in French (which I didn t understand, but could tell the guy got the crowd more pumped up) and then in English, telling us to not put our feet on the back of the seat in front of us, turn of cell phones, emergency exits, etc. Then the previews started. It was all hush for the preview for ROTK, then someone shouted, That s what I m talking about and that got a combination of laughs and cheers. Then the movie started. It is so amazing to watch the extended version on the big screen. It was just fun, to be with all these other people watching a movie we ve all been looking forward to this movie, and are truly into it, not having to worry about snickers from an ungrateful watcher.

After FOTR ended, many people went out of the theater, just to stretch, grab some food, etc. The theater didn t provide anything, but they also didn t mention anything about not bringing in outside food, so I did what a broke college kid does, eat the pathetic sandwich I brought from the caf. I also got to meet the people around me and had a nice conversation with one of the guys on my right about how much of a difference it is seeing the extended version in a theater rather than back home on a laptop or tv with only a few friends around. So, the 40 minutes seemed to take forever to pass, and then TTT started. IR17;d been limiting my watching of the extended versions of both movies, because I didn t want it to be a bore during the theater showing, so it was exciting because it was only the second time I saw it all the way through. The only complaint I had was that they showed the exact same previews in front of TTT as they did for FOTR, including the preview for ROTK; I actually started to take bets with the guy next to me if they would show the preview in front of the actual movie.

But after TTT, I got out of the theater to stretch and walked down throughout the theater. I discovered several encampments of people waiting for midnight showings. One of the theater workers said they were showing 4, and maybe a 5th, because of the demand. Anyways, I then went back and sat down for ROTK! I lost my bet, they only showed 2 previews in front of the movie, neither was ROTK, but I think I m going to scream if I have to watch the preview for The Butterfly Effect again. Don t get me wrong, it seems like an interesting movie, but seeing the preview several times in only a few hours was getting on my nerve.

So then, ROTK!!! The only problem I had with it was that it seemed too rushed. There wasn t a lot of breathing time in between scenes, and I didn’t really like that. Like in the scene with the Witch King and Dernhelm, I don t think it got the applause it should have, because we weren’t given the opportunity to do so; it immediately went to Legolas s awesome scene. However, I had chills during the entire thing, and really, really, really look forward to the extended version! I do have to give props to the credit makers-I thought they were beautifully done, and the perfect end to these amazing movies

So afterwards I went back to my dorm (it was very weird walking through the icy streets of downtown Montréal clutching a ROTK popcorn bucket, but even weirder was how a lot of people left theirs in the theater), showed off my film frames to my friend who had spent the whole time studying that I had spent watching the movies. As for the final 7 hours later, I d rather not talk about it. I m sure though I got high enough on it to pass the class, which is all that I was going for.

Ringer Shalane, Hawaii

Here’s what happened in Hawaii for Trilogy Tuesday:

The schedule was the doors to the theater would open at 8 AM. Everyone would be ushered into a theater according to date of ticket purchase to wait. Then they would be ushered into THE theater which would be used for the showing of the three films, where they would choose their seat. They then would be given a tag with their seat number on it which would be their seat for the duration of the Trilogy, and then they could leave until show time, which for FOTR was scheduled for 2 PM.

So we got to the theater at 6 AM and fortunately were the first in line. Only minutes thereafter, people started arriving to line up. By 7 AM we were four across and the line wrapped all the way around the long wall of the theater complex, doubling back on itself. The theater management had set up four roped-off isles with signs designating date of purchase, but we were not to actually get into these until a bit later. Meanwhile, we waited. The vast majority of the crowd was cheerful and well behaved; however there were a couple of people who came late, saw the long line, and attempted to cut in line in their own sly manner, much to the jeers and shouts of most everyone else who had been waiting for hours. At around 7:45 we were told to get into our respective lines by date of purchase.

At 8 AM promptly we were taking into the theater, and after that things flowed so incredibly smoothly it was amazing. So many thanks are due to Pono Shim, of the Concierge Services at Ward theaters, for arranging things for the benefit of the majority and for the coordination of all this madness. After we got our seat, we got our sticker put on our tags for our Hobbit meal that was to be served between FOTR and TTT: blue for the “Rabbit Stew” and green for the “Vegetarian Stew”. It was great, since we could now come and go at will. There was very nice LOTR merchandise available to all of us at a nice discount as well in the lobby. Our Trilogy Tuesday T-shirts were wonderful also, with the words: “Trilogy Tuesday, The Real Marathon, December 16, 2003, Honolulu Hawaii” on the left sleeve. (The Honolulu Marathon had just been run the Sunday before)

Before the beginning of the first film, Pono Shim spoke, and a member of Tol Andúnë, the Hawaii Chapter of the Tolkien Society, spoke about her recent trip to New Zealand to tour the movie sites. Then it began! We were in Middle-earth heaven! Also, before the start of the ROTK, Tol Andúnë passed out little boxes of kleenex to everyone in anticipation of the emotions which they knew would run high!They acknowledged Mr. Shim with a gift for his hard work to make this event a memorable one. The film strips presented to everyone at the end of ROTK was the crowining glory! We were so surprised and grateful for this wonderful treasure. Truly, this was a day and night to remember!

Posted in Old Special Reports on December 20, 2003 by

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