I recently discussed how midnight releases were worth the pain and agony of returning to work as a half functioning human being the next day. As Solo: A Star Wars Story is on the verge of release, I thought I’d share the tips and tricks that I’ve learnt over the years.
Whether you’re a midnight release virgin in need of guidance or a veteran learning new tips and tricks, hopefully this guide will help you get the most out of your experience and survive the following day… because you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did:
1. Book early and bring friends
It can be a real pain to organise a bunch of you early enough to get seats together. Just remember that you’re going to be in the dark and unable to actually talk for the majority of your trip, so don’t worry if you’re not all sat together.
Book in groups as you discover your availability but remember: the earlier you get it done, the better seats you’ll get. There’s no point going to all this effort to be sat 4 foot away from an IMAX screen.
Of course the real reason you need you need to bring friends is so that you’ve got someone to talk to once the movie is over.
2. Make sure to arrive on time
The best part about a midnight screening is that there are no adverts, which is great! But the queues can get rather huge and if you’re held up getting your popcorn, you might miss the first ten minutes.
Of course the real trick is…
3. Don’t buy a beverage
There’s nothing worse than being sat down for 120 minutes with your legs crossed. Taking a pint of your favourite beverage into the screening isn’t going to help with this, plus it decreases the time it takes to get sat down in your seat.
But of course if you do want to buy a drink or (like me) can’t afford to buy one and bring your own, don’t forget to…
4. Pay a visit
I’m sure it’s obvious, but please make use of the bathroom. Not only does getting up mean you’ll miss valuable screen time, but it also disrupts everyone else around you as you get up and attempt to hide your shame as you awkwardly waddle past them.
5. Absorb some energy
Whatever level of caffeine you take when you wake up, stick to this. If you’re not a coffee or energy drink regular (like myself) then drinking these beforehand will put your body into a weird state of shock as it tries to handle the chemicals – there’s nothing like having the caffeine shakes when you’re trying to pay attention to a film.
So stick to what your used to and if the film’s good enough, it’ll keep you engaged all the way through.
Pro tip: Energy bars and the like will both accomplish this and also not affect your bladder!
6. Take a caffeine nap
Drink you’re tea/coffee about 21.30 – 22.00. Once you’ve drunk it have a nap for 30 minutes – no longer!
Whilst you’re napping, your body will absorb the caffeine and put it to work (this takes about 30 minutes). This means that when you wake up you’ll feel both refreshed from a power nap, coupled with the energy boost from the caffeine.
7. Say hi
You’ve taken your seats and you’re on the end of your row of friends. You’re sat next to someone who appears to be on their own and is awkwardly sat there waiting for the lights to dim so they feel less weird being there on their own.
The thing is, you’re both passionate about the film. There’s a reason you’ve both decided to stay up will 03.00 in the morning. Why not break the awkward silence between you and talk to them about the film in the 5-10 minutes you’ve got before the lights turn off.
As a frequently solo cinema goer, it really make that weird atmosphere in the 6″ gap between the two of you go away.
8. Hold onto your memento
You might never make it to another midnight screening or you might get hooked and never see a film in any other capacity again. In either case this first ticket is your badge of honour. Hold onto it. Buy the poster from the movie and frame it with it. It’ll make for good conversation later on.
9. Adopt a spoiler zone system
As an early adopter, it’s now your duty not to ruin anything for those who couldn’t get the time off work, can’t stay up that late or have another good reasons why they couldn’t attend. With great power come great responsibility.
The general public doesn’t want to overhear how Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father as you casually discuss the film at your local coffee shop the next day.
10. Take some time off and enjoy yourself!
Whether you take any of this advice or none of it, enjoy yourself. It should be a fun occasion where you can celebrate your love for Star Wars or the MCU with other, like-minded people.
Enjoy yourself, dress up, take some pictures and buy some merchandise – whatever you do, make sure that you’ve booked at least the following morning off work. Nobody should go through an eight hour day on three hours of sleep… ever.
You could even book extra time off and have a whole Star Wars themed weekend with your friends! But that might just be me and mine…