TheOneRing.net has a long tradition of using digital means to bring like-minded friends together in real life. Internet friendships are even better when shared over a table of drink and food or a game, discussion or popcorn and soda. The Line Party tradition goes back to the early days of the site and the efforts have cemented life-long friendships. By the time The Return of the King rolled around, over 10,000 people signed up and enjoyed Line Party activities around the globe with many more enjoying the celebrations in person without ever signing up. The largest Line Party had over 1,200 participants but it was not the only one to reach beyond 1,000.
I personally have made many friends from Line Party efforts both at my local line and from people around the globe. A big, widespread effort from fellow fans also demonstrates that we aren’t just an online community but a real-world community that joins with others in celebrating the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters, users and staff at TORn have celebrated each Middle-earth film by lining up in our local neighborhoods. We even printed a t-shirt declaring: “One does not simply walk into theaters, there are geeks there that do not sleep,” long before it was an internet meme. So join a line and if there isn’t one to join, start one! Here at TheOneRing, we have done this before and, we might be good at it. We will help and support as we are able. What follows is a guide of the purpose and way to have a line party. We wish you the best success and look forward to celebrating a new journey into Middle-earth. (Line Party page.)
PURPOSE: Why have a line party? Because the release of The Hobbit isn’t about seeing a movie, it is an event, a grand celebration and group experience.
WHAT IS A LINE PARTY? Simply, it is a grass-roots effort of getting together with like-minded individuals to celebrate and enjoy the first of three new movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It can be simple or complex depending on local fan networks and involvement. It can be costume contests, trivia, news outlets or it can be friends. Each Line Party will be unique and local.
- The LINE UP AND GO party. WIth online ticket sales, the days of waiting days and weeks in line can be over — or not. Sometimes the camping out is half the fun but whatever the case, a Line Party designates a specific theater in a specific area where users of TheOneRing.net and / or other groups or individuals in the community can gather. There is still satisfaction in seeing the film with other TORnadoes.
- The SMALL GROUP party. Sometimes small numbers will RSVP or be interested in attending with other TORnadoes. No problem! Small groups can meet before the show at a local eatery or, if already acquainted, at a private residence. There is strength in numbers but Tolkien enthusiasts should know better than anybody that small fellowships can make for outstanding companionship.
- The PARTY HEARTY. This takes planning and guts and above all, communication, but it can be done. During the height of the LOTR films, individual party events reached in numbers into the thousands! The first step is finding a theater manager willing to talk with and work with a group. Fortunately, many theaters have grown more savvy to events like this. Look carefully around your community and dream big! TORn has some tips for big events but again, every community and every Line Party will have its own flavor.
LINE PARTY TIPS
Whatever type of party you have, here are some general tips to get you started. Don’t worry about the size of your party, just enjoy yourself and others will have fun too.
BE ENTHUSIASTIC: Excitement, like the flu, is contagious. Line leaders must infect as many people as possible.
CONTACT THEATER MANAGERS NOW, TODAY: Call or email for information, get phone numbers, get manager names, send short, polite email or letters to managers and be active. Use courtesy, explain what you are doing and ask them if their theater would be interested in helping you to host an event. If you are turned down, don’t worry, just take your business elsewhere. You might even make a friend and there are two more movies after this one.
GET EMAIL READY: Start a gmail account (or other free service) that will be used only for Line Party stuff. Those wanting to participate through TORN will usually be computer-competent and able to use your email and will appreciate that organization. Use gmail’s extras to share documents and presentations and such as well. Make it easy and memorable. A Salt Lake City line party could be (and is) email@example.com. You may consider other social media as well like Twitter or Facebook as well.
MAKE A FLYER: Write some words about your event and use a photocopy machine and then post flyers them or give to likely participants. Easy stuff but it helps to hand people something. TORn may even provide a sample flyer or two. Keep things short and sweet complete with your new Line Party email.
GET THE WORD OUT: Post those flyers you made — all over. Ask permission from bookstores, colleges and look for local sci-fi, fantasy or gaming groups. Places that carry collectibles are also good. The audience is already out there, you just need to let them know your line party exists. Build the flyer, spread the world through social media and they will come.
ACCEPT HELP: People will want to help you and contribute so let them! Every line will be different based on the community it springs from. Be glad of that and take offers from help. Have them sign up for gmail as well so it will be easier to share documents and ideas and schedules. Be collaborative but don’t be afraid to be decisive when everybody has different ideas.
INVITE THE MEDIA: If your group gets some momentum, let local papers and television stations know there is a news-worthy event. This is another good time to work WITH your theater management if they are cooperative. Encourage your line participants to dress up and the news will show up in droves. Geeks in costumes make good pictures.
BE A LEADER: Be confident, excited, unafraid, reliable, creative, unembarrassed and others will follow you.
GET STARTED NOW! Just click here to visit our Line Party page and find or establish a line near you.