The Dark Knight premieres at Goodrich Savoy 16

Midnight movie madness

(Originally published in buzz magazine on 7/24/2008. Co-authored by Movies + TV Editor Keith Hollenkamp.)

Last Thursday marked the midnight showing of easily one of the most hyped films of the year, The Dark Knight. Hordes of people lined up at Goodrich Savoy 16 Theater as early as 10 p.m. to make sure that they could get a chance to see the caped crusader’s latest silver screen adventure. Among the crowd were a few attendees who showed their fandom by dressing up as their favorite character. The Joker seemed to be the costume of choice — even most of the staff had dyed green hair and makeup on.

A total of 10 theaters were filled up and it was the first midnight showing that Savoy 16 actually had completely sold out. “It was weird to tell people that we were actually out of tickets,” said Leigh Cunningham, one of the theater’s managers. They ended up selling 1818 tickets, almost 500 more than any other theater in their company, making it the most succesful midnight showing of any of the Goodrich theaters. Savoy 16 had a total of four prints of the film, which they interlocked between film proectors. Interlocking is the process of threading one copy of the film between two, or even three different projectors. “We were interlocked to the max so we really couldn’t show it in other theaters,” said Cunningham.

Dishing about The Dark Knight

We asked a handful of the midnight showings’ attendees what they were looking forward to most

about The Dark Knight. Here are a few of their responses:

Casey C. Kashnig. 24, Urbana (Dressed as the Joker)

“Definitely the Joker character. I think it’s like the pure darkness of him. Jack Nicholson’s Joker could possibly pass for a clown for a kid’s party. Not Heath Ledger. He’s a much darker Joker.”

Thomas Nicol. 21, Urbana (Dressed as the Scarecrow)

“I liked the last movie. I think the people who made it did a better job than those who made the older movies. I like the darker, more serious tone."

Kelly Kyrouac and Maeve Aquino. 18 & 16, both from Champaign (dressed as Bat(wo)men)

“The Joker, obviously. I can’t wait to see all the crazy pranks. I love Gotham City, so it’s always nice to see that.” — Kelly

“Batman; I like his car.” — Maeve

David Morgan. 54, Champaign (not costumed, but he stuck out like a sore thumb among all the kids)

“Based on the trailers, probably all the neat gadgets and the darkness of the Joker. Compared to the old TV show Joker, Jack Nicholson was truer to the comic book, and this Joker should be even truer ... I read comic books when I was growing up, and I really like watching superhero movies. I’m a kid at heart in that respect.”

Kellen Cohn, Alan Lee and Christian Cortez. 22, 23 & 24; all from Campustown (Batmen)

“I want to see Two-Face. I heard from hearsay that his face is too gruesome to show in the previews.” — Christian

“It’s just neat seeing the hometown city [of Chicago].” — Alan

“That, and how it could pass for a comic book city.” — Christian

Joe Feeney and Michelle Mehnert. 20 & 18, both from Champaign (Joker & Catwoman)

“I just like seeing more of the funny side of the Joker. I think in the movie you’ll see both sides, unlike how the preview made him just look dark. “ — Joe

“I’m looking forward to all the action.” — Michelle

Check out the PDF copy for pictures of the interviewees snapped by a buzz photographer.