Attending an Advance Screening: What to Expect
I’ve been going to early movie showings for the past two years. I thought I’d describe the procedure now that i’ve gotten used to it and offer some advice on how you can attend advance screenings yourself and what to anticipate from the entire experience.
The most important thing to remember is that you should arrive early if you plan to attend an advance screening. The majority of the time, a ticket does not assure you a seat in the theater. Even though I was instructed to arrive a half hour early, I have seen lines that extend all the way down the theater halls by that time.
Even if the queue didn’t appear that lengthy, I have been turned away from cinemas that were completely filled. Furthermore, even having a seat does not guarantee that it will be a nice one. The earlier the better, then.
The toughest part is having to wait. When there are numerous contests and promotions for the same screening of a hotly anticipated film, it might be stressful to wait for more than 30 minutes when there’s a risk you could not even get in.
I’ve also experienced standing in line outside in the dead of winter. Another time, in the cold, the theater wasn’t even open when a line started forming outside at 9:30AM for a 10AM screening.
Being asked to turn in my phone was one of the few things that caught me off guard. Even if the purpose of these gatherings is to spread word of mouth, they still do not want anyone to record the movie or cause a disturbance inside the theater.
It’s not specific to any studio or marketing company because I haven’t figured out how to anticipate whether or when i’ll have to turn in my phone. Our camera had to be turned in as well. We’ve never experienced any issues, and it’s not a major effort.
They’ll ask to see your ticket if you do reach the head of the line and there are still seats remaining. They will remove any printed-out paper from the area. They’ll simply scan it if it’s on your phone.
The movie won’t always start on time once you enter the cinema since staff members still work hard to fill every seat. During this time, you can go get some snacks and beverages. Even though they take your ticket away, it can be awkward to simply stroll back in. Leave your jacket at home if you’re attending alone in order to take a seat.
Before the movie starts, the screen can be blank, the lights might be on, or you might be sitting in pitch-blackness among strangers in a crowded cinema rental without a phone. On occasion, a movie poster may appear on the screen with hashtags and other instructions to discuss the movie afterwards.
I’ve never attended a showing where there were any trailers, commercials, or even announcements about proper theater behavior. Sometimes a man in a flashy suit will utter a few words, but then the movie starts.
Regardless of how many of these I complete, it never becomes boring or I actually get used to it. I’ve figured out every technique, but I’m still turned away because I didn’t there on time.
Of course, there is always a thrill associated with watching a movie before most people. When I attend a screening, I always attempt to write a review, if not for the blog, then at least for a quick Twitter thread. There is never a review embargo or NDA if you are invited to a public screening. The entire purpose of these gatherings is to get other people enthused about it. So spread the awesomeness wherever you go!
Here are some pointers for going to advance showings.
Subscribe to newsletters and updates from websites like gofobo and advancescreenings.com. Additionally, major studios have their own lists that you can join. If you sign up for one through bookthecinema.com, you might automatically be included to the studio’s newsletter.
I’ve only ever attended early Saturday morning screenings of animated children’s movies, a full week before the film’s official release. Typically, there are just a few nights between other screenings.
You won’t see many screenings for big movies because these events are mostly intended to generate buzz. I’ve never attended a movie screening for a Star Wars, Disney, or Marvel production. Instead, anticipate numerous lesser-known releases.
Get there early if you receive free tickets to a Fathom Events screening through the media or a contest. The staff has never known what to do with me, so it always takes at least two managers and they always make up a story to get us seats, even though your seats may technically be reserved.
Advance screenings typically take place in only one theater per city, and only in major cities. Discover which cinema rental host events once you’ve attended to a couple and keep an eye on their social media and newsletters.
Follow nearby comic book stores, game stores, and other similar establishments on social media. They frequently acquire a few tickets as well and distribute them at their shop or via online competitions.