My premiere ticket Hunger Games adventure

Today, the anticipated movie The Hunger Games was finally released. If you didn’t get a chance to see the midnight premiere, go see it. This movie is excellent.

But since I don’t want to ruin the movie, I’m not going to focus my column on its excellence. Instead, let me take you on my adventure to get premiere tickets to see it one day early.

It all began Tuesday night when my friend Michelle informed me that there was a chance to get passes to possibly get tickets for an advanced screening (don’t worry, it’s not as hopeless as it sounds). So, for about an hour I refreshed the website (it’s my secret) until it posted the tickets. Michelle and I both got passes. Step 1 complete.

Now we just had to figure out how early we should get to the theater to stand in line for the guaranteed tickets.

Let me explain one little thing: 48 tickets in the theater were already gone for sure because of the 24 tributes who had won and their guests. Also, there were probably about another 50 seats gone, maybe more, to winners from various other contests. This meant there were only about 50 or so seats left, but 200 extra possible tickets had been given out.

I didn’t want to risk not getting a ticket, so I arrived at Megaplex 12 in Salt Lake by noon. I thought I was late, and that the line would be out of control. Luckily, I was the third group to arrive (the others having come at 9 a.m. or so).

It was still four hours until we were allowed to even get our tickets. So I pulled out a book, made a comfy seat on the bench (I was one of the lucky ones to get a bench) and began the wait.

After about an hour, I could feel my arms burning, so I rolled up my sleeves, deciding an even burn was better than a farmer’s one. The girl in front of me was suffering the same problem, but none of us had brought sunscreen, and none of us were willing to leave our coveted spots.

Around 2 p.m., the crowd finally began amassing. I thought I would see mostly younger people, but there were people of all ages, even an old couple who looked about 80 (I don’t think they got tickets).

As the line grew, so did the tension. People began walking the line, asking for extra passes, bribing people for their spots or just generally expressing jealousy. I ignored them, thinking to myself that it would only be a few more hours until I got to actually see The Hunger Games. I was getting those tickets.

Michelle joined me about an hour before we went in for tickets. That’s when my excitement began to escalate. One hour until I may get tickets. We discussed where we wanted to sit, and we decided that as close to the back, aisle or exit was our choice.

Then it was time. We were at the counter, and there were only four seats left — in the back on the aisle by the exit. We grabbed those, pocketed the tickets and walked out the door.

We were going to see it.

Now it was time to play a little game with the two friends we were bringing along. We called them, gave them a set of instructions (no electronics, have to be to the “arena” by 6:50 p.m., and don’t discuss what we are doing) and waited for the time. There was a lot of waiting that day.

When we met our friends, we told them they still weren’t allowed to even guess what we were seeing until we sat down (they knew, but it was more fun this way). After a little bit more waiting, we were scanned and finally in our seats.

Our friends were thrilled, the crowd was thrilled and I was absolutely happy, burn and all.

I don’t think it really hit me that I was seeing The Hunger Games until the movie actually started. I was captivated the entire time.

I will not spoil the movie for you. All I have to say is I have never liked a movie better than a book until now.