Tickets for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” are already on sale in some parts of the World, and are now slated to be available in the US on Friday, November 14. Before that happens, you may want to get ready for the big event by either hosting a Line Party event, or looking for one in your area to attend. So here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
1) There is no right way and wrong way to have a Line Party. You basically just choose a theater you wish to go to, invite some friends and go to the film and have some fun. If you feel up to the challenge of hosting, you can let us announce your event so that others in your area can join you. At that point, you can be as active or passive in planning as you wish.
Example of a low-key, passive sort of Line Party: Your local theater doesn’t have a history of long lines hours in advance of screenings, or has reserved seats. No problem, simply suggest to your friends, and any public announcement you are comfortable with that you meet up a couple hours ahead of the film’s start time at a local restaurant, pub or coffeehouse. At this meeting point, or in the line, you simply walk around others in line and ask a few simple questions, such as: Do you think Bilbo will reveal the Ring to Gandalf? Which battle are you most looking forward to, Dol Guldur and the White Council, or the Battle of Five Armies? Do you think Beorn will get to fight in the Battle of Five Armies?, etc. Depending on the timing of your chosen screening and the availability of late night dining in the area, you might also suggest a Post movie meal and discussion too.
Example of an active Line Party: Host a costume contest with prizes, and prepare some Trivia Questions, also with prizes. If you don’t have any real, tangible prizes, go buy a bag of candy or stickers at Staples and give those out in recognition of a job well done. But do ask your theater if they have a few extra posters you can use for prizes, you might be surprised at what that gets you. Trivia can come in many formats, from Fill in the Blank (name all the Dwarves) to simple Yes/No or True/False type questions. Also, you can make them from Book Canon or Movie Canon, your choice. Suggest a Canned Food collection or a Blood Drive, be creative and have fun with it. You could schedule a meal gathering before or after, or both for discussion purposes.
2) Should you get permission to host the Line Party from the theater manager? Yes and no, depending on what you wish to do and the idiosyncrasies of your chosen theater. Large theaters within shopping malls or entertainment complexes typically have a few rules about large events, which governs such mundane things as weapons, including costumed weapons. It is a good idea to ask to speak to a manager and explain what you plan to do. You can also tell them there is absolutely nothing they need to do other than actually run the film, which will ease their mind that you aren’t asking for promotion, man power or any effort at all on their part. Then again, some theaters might be eager to get involved in an event that turns the Passive nature of movie watching into an active event. Don’t be discouraged if a theater manager says no. You can choose a different theater, or you can still do a more low key event at that theater, and just not make a big deal out of it to the staff. But communication is never a bad thing, especially if you find out if the line will be indoors or outdoors and when the theater plans to start allowing people in to the theater. All of that is info you can pass along to your Line mates.
3) Now, how to go about actually forming a Line Party. Many moons ago during the LOTR films, we had some handy software that allowed us to create a Line Party description and keep track of members RSVPing to it so we could email or post details. Then the long wait between LOTR and the Hobbit set in and that software disappeared somewhere in the Dead Marshes, to be replaced by not entirely interactive mapping software. Since it allows a Line Party to start, but does not allow anyone to RSVP, we decided to MacGyver a solution by using Facebook. So, just take a look at our TORn Facebook Events page for ideas on how to announce a Line Party, and then send in an email to Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net with your parties statistics: Host name, Theater name, address, city and the start time of your event. Don’t fret if you don’t have all the info just yet, we can edit and change the screening info later on if need be, but let’s get some Line Parties posted and get talking to fellow fans in your area.
4) Why should you start a Line Party or Attend one? Why Not? You will have fun with your friends, and you stand a good chance to make some new friends. This may well be your last chance to really hang out with Tolkien fans and experience Middle-earth within a Fellowship of Fans, so step out of your comfort zone and start a line party or search for one to join.