Posted 12/13/17

Bradley County theaters are stockpiling their lightsabers and preparing for a massive turnout for the new film, "Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi" on Thursday. Bradley Square 12 and UEC …

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Banner photo, COLBY DENTON

Bradley County theaters are stockpiling their lightsabers and preparing for a massive turnout for the new film, "Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi" on Thursday. 

Bradley Square 12 and UEC Theater 14 Cleveland are local movie theaters that are prepped and ready to make the jump to hyperspace. 

Kurt Maxwell, UEC Cleveland general manager, is excited over what his theater has to offer. 

"We have quite the movie deal going on. Firstly, everyone gets to see the movie at 6 p.m. instead of 7; you also get a free medium popcorn — which is about a $7 value — and an exclusive set of 'Star Wars' trading cards," Maxwell explained.

UEC theater customers may also get to see potential extra content if viewing the special showtime. The overall price is $20. This ticket deal is only offered at specific theaters, including UEC Theater 14 Cleveland. 

Bradley Square 12 is also expecting a large turnout for "The Last Jedi." 

At UEC, Maxwell said, "We are all about customer service in the movie business, because we want everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed when they come see our movies." 

Previous movie premieres for "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One" were also large, and Maxwell explained how each one is like a "Star Wars" convention all on its own.

"We expect this movie to stay in the Megascreen for four weeks, and most movies only stay in there for one week," Maxwell stated.  "These movies are just so special and big that the people who come see them instantly have something in common. It's just like a smaller convention in itself, because there are so many fans here for a common thing."

Maxwell believes that "Star Wars" has impacted the movie industry by forging the obvious sense of community among its fans. 

"People are coming here to get away from the stress of their lives and the world. Our job is to make that as effortless as possible," stated Maxwell. 

Both theaters are expecting a sizable amount of costumers, or cosplayers, to show up in "Star Wars" costumes. According to Maxwell, cosplayers come to nearly every fictional movie, whether it be "Lord of the Rings" or "Pirates of the Caribbean."

While UEC has run different events throughout the years for specific movie premieres, Maxwell says this "Star Wars" deal is one-of-a-kind. 

"We've never done anything this sizable at our theater. We've always had events, but none that are such a great deal for such a fantastic movie franchise," he stated. 

Maxwell, like many other fans, says he is excited and ready to see what's new in a galaxy far, far away. 

"The Last Jedi" will be released Thursday at select theaters, and globally on Friday.


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