GREENFIELD — Check your light sabers at the door.
Legacy Cinema manager Cary Benbow is expecting to see all manner of costumes and cosplay at the Dec. 17 opening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but he asks that masks, light sabers and other prop weapons be returned to the car before entering the theater.
Benbow is taking a very matter-of-fact approach to what could conceivably be the largest crowd to ever attend a movie opening at the Legacy. He recalls the huge crowd on opening night of the last film in the “Twilight” movie series, many of whom camped out ahead of time to see that show. The line of people waiting to get in extended along the building, down the side of the parking lot and almost to U.S. 40.
Crowds like that don’t worry Benbow. People standing in line find ways to entertain themselves with their technology, Benbow said. Fans of different movies like to dress up and come in costume.
“It’s like Comic Con,” Benbow said. “The atmosphere is fantastic. I’ve never had anyone complain about waiting in line.”
Newlyweds Aidan and Hilary Robinson don’t have their tickets yet, but they plan to attend and they are already planning their costumes. They are not only fans of the movie, but the entire Star Wars franchise: games, miniatures, action figures and merchandise. Both have created costumes for original Star Wars characters, which they wore just six weeks ago in their Star Wars-themed wedding. Both husband and wife are very passionate about it.
“Pop culture is our life,” Aidan Robinson said. The couple met in 2010 at an anime convention in Indianapolis when Hilary asked to take a photo of Aidan in anime cosplay.
The Robinsons said they are excited about the movie, but they are also keeping their expectations low about the new retooling of the Star Wars saga. Since the Disney company has taken over the franchise, they expect amazing special effects, but they are worried about how Disney-fied future episodes could become.
“The outcome of the movie is irrelevant,” Aidan Robinson said, “Whether it’s good or bad doesn’t really matter. It’s just the experience of going to the movie, sitting in the theater, hearing the Twentieth Century Fox theme, the fade to black and then the orchestral roar of the Star Wars theme is enough.”
Benbow has an appreciation for movie super-fans like the Robinsons. Although there is a lot of extra hype for the new “Star Wars” movie, Benbow’s calm approach lies in making sure the Legacy is a great place for people to see a movie and in being prepared. He said he doesn’t plan to dress up himself, but some of the staff might.
“Maybe I can find a Star Wars tie or something,” Benbow said.
He recalls a new employee who commented on how calm he was in the face of large movie-going crowds. As long as all the equipment has been checked and there are plenty of refreshments and enough staff to serve them, then he knows that everything should go smoothly.
“Bring ’em on in,” Benbow said. “We’re ready.”
The first showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is at 7:30, Dec. 17 at the Legacy Cinema, 2347 W. Main St.
Presale of tickets are available at the box office or at movietickets.com.