ArcLight Hollywood Has HUGE Snafu at ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Showing

By December 18, 2015
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I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if an entire theatre full of Star Wars fans threw their popcorn at the screen…

Last night was the night that Star Wars fans have been waiting years for with the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (you can find our full review here). Movie theatres all over the world were packed to the brim last night with people ready and looking forward to seeing Star Wars come back for the first time since 2005 (although some might argue since 1983). However, it looks like the film-going experience might not have been as smooth as some fans had hoped.

After reports came of a theatre being evacuated from a fire alarm pull at the Grove in Los Angeles, CA last night, it looks like one 3D screening of the film at none other than the ArcLight Hollywood had one MAJOR mishap occur as well. During a screening of the film, audience members began to notice a green band hovering near the top of the screen, and after management had been alerted, the house lights came on and the screening was stopped. Unfortunately, the film wasn’t just recalibrated and fixed five minutes later…

Instead, when the film restarted, it began during a HUGE climactic moment near the end of the film, that the audience members had not gotten to yet, meaning the film had not only been interrupted, but also skipped forward. As you can probably imagine, fans in the crowd were not happy, and if you want to see a video of the madness that ensued, check out the one provided below (credit to Michelle Rubio):

(Note, the video does contain minor spoilers and shots from the film, so those of you who haven’t seen it yet – might want to avoid checking it out!)

Coincidentally enough, a friend of GeekNation, Marc Pattavina (Editor at Fox TV, ABC TV, and Warner Bros.) was at said screening of the film with his fellow audience members including Andy Francis, Rachel Cellinese, Ken Garduno, Harvey Doggins, and Michelle Rubio. He said this of the experience:

“I’ve been going to the ArcLight for years. I worked as a film assistant for years and have been spoiled with a high standard for screening rooms and the Arclight is the place I always considered to hold itself to a higher standard for quality but last night they really dropped the ball. I understand hardware failures happen but the handling of it was pretty questionable. When they restored picture and restarted later in the film at what looked like a climactic moment that could have very well been the end bedlam ensued. If you want to hear the collective sound of hundreds of fanboys having their hearts broken watch the YouTube video my friend Michelle Rubio posted from the back row. That was after the big screw up. It was worse, way worse.

In the end it made for a long night but a strangely fun experience. But there’s people who were really hyped to see this and have been anticipating this for a very long time that had to be very let down. Afterwards the arclight handed out vouchers for a free screening. Some fanboys were mobbing around the manager demanding more.”

Again, it sounds like this is just one of a few mishaps that happened last night during the thousands of Star Wars screenings happening, and I wouldn’t be surprised by more stories coming out in the next few days as well. Just goes to show that if a movie theatre screws up a screening of Star Wars - the movie theatre might want to watch its back.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is playing in theatres worldwide now!

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • Matt Hooper

    The second time I went to see the Phantom Menace (I had been to the midnight screening the night before)–management kicked everyone out of the theater and gave us all vouchers for the next day. The rumor was that a bomb threat had been made. I’ve never heard so many little kids crying in one place at one time, when they realized they wouldn’t be seeing the movie that day.

  • Dcarstens

    When the 3D lost sync about 45min in, it continued to play with miscalibration for 15 minutes, giving everyone headaches, while audience members yelled at theater staff to fix the screen. That was borderline forgivable once they finally stopped the picture to reboot the projector. Like jumping out of warp speed into the middle of an asteroid field, the movie restarted in the middle of a spoiler, and that was when all hell broke loose…

  • Rachel Cushing

    I was at The Grove for the fire alarm, but what happened after was even worse – the 7:45pm 3D screening (mine) not only started an hour late because of the alarm, but the projection was messed up and, like the Arclight, wasn’t fixed by the re-start they did 20 min into the film. So my hugely anticipated premiere (with my 8 friends in tow) ended in a half empty theater with pissed off fans who had to watch a slightly blurry version of Episode VII. The theater comped the tickets but handled the whole situation incredibly poorly – not communicating or even attempting to get a technician, or even manager, to address the problem outside the restart. My opening night experience of a film I’ve waited years for, bought tickets months in advance for, was ruined by the incompetent handling of the situation. I will never see another film at the theater again, but it hardly matters because I can’t get that night back. I won’t lie and say I’m not kind of heartbroken over it, even though it’s just “a movie” as several people have pointed out to me (it’s not “a movie,” it’s STAR WARS!).

  • Luiza

    Why would anyone expect a 15 yr old making minimum wage to give a shit or know how to fix anything? Having your movie ruined seems to be the new trend. I’m guessing there is some sort of maintenance or pre-check that isn’t happening anymore? Or maybe they used to use people that knew how to operate a projector? I don’t know what has changed in the past few years but we go to the movies every wknd and major fk ups are happening 50% of the time. Like every light in the theater coming on so you can’t see the screen for 20 minutes. Not just film issues, just whatever you are going to have when you cut your staff in half and they are all teenagers. For the last MI we weren’t let into the theater for 30 minutes after scheduled showtime. The movie didn’t start for another hour! They comp’d us w/tickets for free popcorn we’ll never eat :p

  • CurseofZodLovesMaude

    Staff at these chain theaters is ridiculously bad. Opening night for TFA, the screen was dark and fuzzy, like they had a burnt out bulb, audio was way too low, could barely hear anything. A complaint was lodged, they said, “it’s fine,” and did nothing. It’s not just there, its everywhere. Kids got an attack of the lazies…. *shakes fist in air.