Line formed early next ‘Twilight’

“Twi-mom” Salina Ritchie, left, and Meghan Hoffmann, relax in line Tuesday morning so they can get good seats for the midnight premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”  They brought along cut-outs of movie character Edward Cullen

A small army of Edward Cullen vampire cardboard cutouts stood guard outside Regal Cinemas 14 on Tuesday as fans prepared for the midnight premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

As early as Tuesday morning, the line of fans was beginning to wrap around the building in anticipation of the “Twilight” saga’s third installment, which features a love triangle involving the human Bella, vampire Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black. The “Twilight” films are based on a series of similarly named novels by Stephenie Meyer.

“Twilight” book and movie fans Salina Ritchie and Meghan Hoffmann made sure they had no pending responsibilities before taking their places in the queue at 9 a.m., trying to ensure good seats for the midnight showing.

“I drove my kids 200 miles away to their grandparents, and they’re going to be gone all week,” Ritchie said.

“We took the day off work so we could be here,” Hoffmann added.

But the duo’s passion for “Twilight” extends beyond camping out for the movie. Hoffmann sported a permanent “Twilight”-related tattoo and drives a car with the license plate “MSCULLN.” Unfortunately, “Cullen” wouldn’t completely fit on the tag.

Ritchie and Hoffmann, who call themselves “Twi-moms,” began planning for the premiere of “Eclipse” the day after “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” was released last year.

Surrounded by three cardboard cutouts of Cullen, they passed the time by playing “Twilight”-themed games, eating food and watching the previous two “Twilight” movies on a portable TV and DVD player.

“Last year, we saw (“New Moon”) three times in two days,” Ritchie said. “The first time you watch, you’re trying to see if it follows the book. After that, you watch it to enjoy it.”

Hoffmann and Ritchie’s dedication to “Twilight” and to camping out for the first Grand Junction showing of “Eclipse” was shared by Emilie Stickley and Monte Carter, who were part of a group that staked out their spot at 1 p.m. Monday.

“We’ve been first in line for every movie,” Carter said.

“It’s been a tradition every year,” Stickley said. “We wanted to uphold that tradition, and we plan on being first for the next two movies, too.”

They bought their movie tickets on the day they went on sale and have made preparations ever since.

“It’s kind of like preparing an army. You get supplies, have meetings, take shifts,” Stickley said.

“Then it’s like war when the doors open,” Carter said. “You have a lot more ‘friends’ than you thought you had.”

The fourth and final book in the “Twilight” series, “Breaking Dawn,” will be split into two movies, meaning “Twilight” fans will get two more chances to camp out in front of theaters across the nation.

Hoffmann and Ritchie already are making plans for those premieres.

“We hope to move closer (to the front of the line) every year,” Hoffmann said, “and we’ll be adding more cutouts.”


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