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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 were there 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 (California, USA)*
*Jen attended this event at no cost as a patron of her local public library.

You might also enjoy:

Jen's article: List of the top ten things you need to know before you hit the red carpet

Jen's review of a Disney movie premiere at El Capitan Theatre

Jen's movie bucket list