What happens at a Hollywood Movie premiere?

Hollywood Movie premiere
Hollywood Movie premiere

A “Movie Premiere” is the promotion of a film with a red carpet event, where invited guests including cast, crew, media and celebs get watch the movie before anyone else.

Fans will be there in the masses too just the other side of the barrier to catch a glimpse of all of the action in the US.

The publicity event costs hundreds of thousands of dollars make creates millions of $$$ in publiciity. Key members of the cast and crew are invited as well as other recognizable talent, industry players, media outlets, fans, and anyone else the studio thinks will help generate buzz for the film. (There’s usually a separate, private screening for the full cast and crew because again, priority at the premiere is to show the film to people who can help generate media coverage to drive box office results.)

There’s generally some kind of red carpet (though not always literally red) for an hour or two before the screening during which actors are photographed and/or interviewed in front of a step-and-repeat (that’s the graphic background with the name and graphics from the film, studio, and/or sponsors.) The cast of the movie being screened generally arrives last.

For many guests this is a one-time event and they get their clothes, hair, and makeup professionally done for a premiere.

Each press outlet only gets a few feet of space and limited time with each star for 2-3 questions max!
Then the people who have been invited to the screening head in to the theater. (Some of the press and attendees leave after the carpet.) The screening may be divided into a main theater and one or more overflow venues. Seating is often assigned or divided into areas specific to various kinds of invitees. Refreshments are typically complimentary, which is fun. There are often short introductory speeches from a studio executive and/or the producer and/or director of the movie. Often members of the cast who are in attendance will come out and say a brief hello.

Then the screening begins. A Hollywood premiere screening is a little different than seeing a movie in the theater in that much of the audience is watching a movie they or someone they know had some hand in creating. So the audience’s reactions are big, there’s a huge round of applause at the end, and lots of people stay for the credits and applaud when they friends’ and colleagues’ names appear.

The screening is often followed by a catered reception nearby (though kids’ movies sometimes do the reception before the screening so as not to go too late and avoid serving alcohol.) The reception often includes swag, photo ops, and activities all themed around the movie. If the cast and major players are there, they’re in a reserved VIP area so as to avoid being swamped.

it’s time to head home. The breakdown crew works fast; When you emerge from the theater, the tent and most of the equipment and vehicles on the street are gone.

Where do Hollywood premieres take place?

The premieres are often held at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard, and they close several blocks off for the event. So here’s a pic of the event from the outside, walking toward the press tent on the closed street, surrounded by security and production equipment and personnel, cars arriving with talent, etc.

Most premieres take place at one of three places: Grauman’s Chinese (in Hollywood), The Village Theatre (in Westwood) or the Arclight/Cinerama Dome (at Sunset & Vine). The exceptions are films made by Disney, which usually premiere at the El Capitan theatre (across from Grauman’s).

Can anyone go to a premiere?

The only way that someone else can attend a premiere besides being in the cast, crew, media, insider is by entering and winning a contest where the prize is tickets for premiere. A very limited number of these tickets are sometimes given to radio stations or other media outlets to help promote the film.

Author Profile

Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed and The New York Post amongst other press. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in-demand for his opinions for media outlets including Newsweek. His TV credits include This Morning, The One Show and T4. Email Mark@MarkMeets.com

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