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The Red Riding Hood movie premiere!

I had been to Grauman's Chinese Theatre (now TCL Chinese Theatre) before, but never when it looked like this. Usually, milling tourists can be found checking out the handprints and footprints of celebrities in the cement of the famous forecourt, but, today, the theater was dressed up for a movie premiere. Transparent walls surrounded the bright red carpet that blanketed the forecourt and the sidewalk in front of the theater.
My friend and I had won tickets to attend the premiere of the movie Red Riding Hood (starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons and Julie Christie; directed by Catherine Hardwicke (who also directed the movie, Twilight)). We showed our passes to a security man in a suit just outside the tent. He directed us to check in across the street. 
Once we had claimed our spot in line, my friend sent me to take some photos of the theater. I walked back to Hollywood Boulevard and strolled along a barricade, checking out the theater across the street. Big signs announced that Red Riding Hood was "Now Showing" even though the movie had not yet opened to the general public. The red carpet area was ready to welcome celebrity guests as they arrived at the event. Numerous Red Riding Hood posters lined the route that the stars would walk as they made their way to the theater. Bright lights shone. Event organizers milled about.
The throng of people standing at the barricades had swelled to two to three people deep when three Ford Expeditions approached the red carpet. The crowd buzzed with excitement. People strained to see who was inside.

"American Idol!" someone said. Excitement at the barricades grew. That years' American Idol Top 13 contestants had arrived: Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Stefano Langone, James Durbin, Pia Toscano, Lauren Alaina, Thia Megia, Karen Rodriguez, Ashthon Jones, Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart.
The fans at the barricades waved. The American Idol contestants waved back. "We love you!" a woman shouted from the barricades. Once the contestants moved out of view, I went back to join my friend in line.

About an hour before the screening was scheduled to start, event staff started to move the people in our line toward the theater. We were brought to a special door to the theater. Our purses were searched, and we walked through metal detectors. Then, for good measure, we were "wanded."

Once safely inside, my friend and I took in the ornate lobby. At the concessions stand, complimentary bags of popcorn and sodas were set out on the counter. We picked up our refreshments and entered the huge theater. A chandelier hung on the ceiling. A thick, red curtain covered the movie screen. We settled into our plush, velvety seats and watched the theater fill.

As showtime approached, some girls next to us excitedly spotted actors from the movie in the auditorium, including Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, and the director, Catherine Hardwicke. Fifteen minutes after the movie was scheduled to start, the lights dimmed, the curtain over the movie screen opened, and, without any announcements or fanfare (and without any advertisements or movie previews), the movie began.

Watching the movie itself wasn't much different from the usual movie-watching experience, except that, when the opening credits rolled, there was applause when the names of the cast, director, and production companies appeared on the screen. Also, when the audience applauded at the end of this movie, their applause was definitely heard by people who worked on the movie.

When the movie was over, we followed the throngs of people exiting the theater auditorium. In the crowded lobby, we saw director Catherine Hardwicke and actor Adrian Holmes signing autographs and graciously posing for pictures. 
Outside the theater, the famous courtyard was still covered with special flooring, but the red carpet and the tents had already vanished. We watched Catherine Hardwicke climb into her limo. I imagine that she was headed to the afterparty. My friend and I would have loved to have gone to the afterparty too, but we didn't have passes for that; and so we headed home.

I did this in 2011 in Hollywood, California, USA.

Jen is also known as J.W. Lynne, a best selling author of eleven novels. Click on any of the titles below to see the book on Amazon!

THE UNKNOWN: Eight kids learn the shocking reason why they were kidnapped.

ABOVE THE SKY: A girl lives in a world where touching her soulmate is forbidden.

: A teen is locked in a bunker to take a simulated trip to the moon.

KID DOCS: An experimental program turns kids into doctors.

WILD ANIMAL SCHOOL: A girl falls in love with a boy at an exotic animal ranch.

WHAT HE DIDN'T TELL ME: A traumatized girl meets a boy with a horrible secret.

IF I TELL: A teen wonders if her father is a serial killer.

Besides reading books and dreaming up stories to write, Jen's favorite activities are singing along to musical theater soundtracks and hiking in California's beautiful parks.

**Jen's books are available on Kindle Unlimited.**

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Reviews of red-carpet movie premieres:
Finding Dory premiere and afterparty
Divergent premiere
Disney's Planes premiere and pre-party
The Lion King 3D premiere
Disney's Frozen premiere

Top things to know if you're invited to a movie premiere

Top things to know if you're going to a movie premiere without a ticket

Attending a hand and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Visiting the Oscars red carpet the day before the Oscars

Performing in a show at Disneyland

Auditioning for Universal Studios Hollywood

Reviews of TV show tapings and filmings:
The Big Bang Theory (2013-2014 Season)
The Big Bang Theory (2011-2012 Season)
Two and a Half Men (2011-2012 Season)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Riff-Raff Room)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (studio audience)
American Idol taping
American Idol finale
Today show