A pantomime fairy godmother transformed herself into a stormtrooper for the historic first screening of the new Star Wars blockbuster movie at a Wrexham cinema.
Professional actress Lindsay Goodhand, 40, dashed from Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru stage where she’s appearing in Cinderella to watch The Force Awakens at the Odeon at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre.
Lindsay was among 650 fans – many of them in Star Wars outfits – who packed the Odeon for the first showing of the latest episode of phenomenally successful film franchise at one minute past midnight on Thursday morning (December 17).
She said: “We dashed off stage and some of the cast and the stage crew came straight over to the Odeon in Wrexham to see the film. We booked tickets a while ago.
“I wanted to dress up and make it a fun night. Everyone is in a great mood and the atmosphere is lovely.”
According to the Odeon’s guest experience supervisor, Steve Short, all six screens showing the movie were packed to the rafters in what turned out to be the biggest night in the history of the cinema since it opened at Eagles Meadow in 2009.
He said: “The film more than justified the hype beforehand, it was a truly spectacular cinematic experience and is destined to become an all-time classic.”
Everyone it seemed wanted a selfie with storm trooper Afy Anwar, 45, of Wrexham who attended the premiere in a full outfit including a blaster gun.
Afy, who works in retail at St Christopher’s School as well as on a behavioural unit at the school said he has been a massive fan of Star Wars since the very first film was released in the 70’s and says he always wanted a real storm trooper outfit.
He said: “I bought it from London and let’s just say it was very expensive. I use it to raise money at charity event sand parties. I raised more than £200 for Children in Need recently by wearing the outfit to school and posing for pictures.
“I have five children, four boys and a girl and my youngest son, Husan, who is six, adores the outfit. He thinks it’s wonderful.”
He added: “I wanted to dress the part for the first screening in Wrexham so people get in the mood to see what I’m sure is a great film. I can’t wait to see it myself having been a fan for so long.”
Flintshire County Council social worker, Luisa Borrelli, 39, of Wrexham, attended the screening with her partner, pharmaceutical worker, Chris Higham, 37, of Liverpool.
Luisa said: “We both like Star wars but Chris knows every word of dialogue to every film, he a total Star Wars geek I’m afraid.”
Jessica Turner, 18, of Nercwys Flintshire, was dressed as Princess Leia and said: “I have always loved the films and why not dress up? It’s a really special occasion. I wanted to come with my boyfriend on the first night, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow.”
Hospital secretary, Sue Dickinson, 61, of Tan y Fron, Brymbo, also dressed as Princess Leia but joked she felt more of a Granny Leia!
She said: “I’ve always loved Star Wars and watched the very first Star Wars film in the 70’s no fewer than 27 times at the cinema. I came dressed as Princess Liah as my friend told me everyone would be dressed up which wasn’t quite true!”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “It sounds like a lot of fun and the fans who came in their Star Wars outfits undoubtedly added to the atmosphere.
“It looks as if the Odeon in for a great time over the Christmas holidays and I’m sure lots of the movie goers will also take advantage of the opportunity to do some shopping or eat at one of the restaurants in the run-up to Christmas and the sales that follow.”