Darien Playhouse catches ‘Star Wars’ fever
DARIEN — Liam Fitzsimmons, a senior at Darien High School, works at the concession stand of the Darien Playhouse and plans to watch the newest Star Wars movie not once, but twice, in the span of 24 hours.
“I’m seeing it on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Playhouse and then again Friday but in a different theater,” Fitzsimmons said on Tuesday.
The Darien Playhouse, a two-screen theater at 1077 Boston Post Road, debuted “The Last Jedi” on Thursday at 7 p.m. The movie is expected to play there throughout the holidays, with multiple daily showings on the weekends.
“The Last Jedi” continues the Star Wars saga with protagonists Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren. Fans have waited two years after the first movie of the newest trilogy, “The Force Awakens,” came out in December 2015.
Another senior at Darien High School, Thomas Sterns dropped by the Playhouse to catch a film Tuesday evening. While he, too, is excited for new Star Wars film, he bought a ticket to another theater for Thursday’s premiere.
The new Star Wars installment is expected to be a boost for movie theaters after the lackluster summer, one of the lowest-grossing for the North American box office in 25 years.
Peter Vivian, the owner of the Darien Playhouse, is expecting a good turnout.
“The other Star Wars movie in 2015 did very well and I am hoping that this one is the same,” said Vivian. “We’re planning to show the movie for about three or four weeks.”
In its opening week, “The Last Jedi” has received good reviews and, as of Wednesday, had a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a review site.
“I hear it’s turning out to be a good hit and we’re hoping to get a share of that market here at the Playhouse,” Vivian said.
Vivienne Le, who also works at the Playhouse, knows that are people are excited — but not her.
“I think a lot of people are coming to see it but I’m not really into Star Wars,” Le said.
“We might sell out over the weekend but I’m not sure,” said Rob Harms, who works the ticket booth at the Playhouse. “Early showings can range from being fully packed to almost no showings.”
Unlike most movie theaters today, the Playhouse does not sell its tickets online so fans will have to head into town to snag a seat to find out what happens in a galaxy far, far away.