The force won’t get you an early ticket |

The force won’t get you an early ticket

Tim Mutrie

Local “Star Wars” fanatics will have to get in line next week when the much-hyped “Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace” hits the big screen at Stage 3 Theaters in Aspen and Movieland in El Jebel.

The long-awaited prequel to the “Star Wars” trilogy premieres nationwide on Wednesday, May 19, but unlike many theaters across the country, neither local movie house plans to sell tickets in advance of opening day.

Stage 3 is inviting Wednesday’s moviegoers to come in costume, be it Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, the Emperor, a storm trooper, Darth Vader or any other spaced-out alien. Fanciful garb won’t, however, garner fans any discounts or preference in purchasing tickets. Tickets will likely be hard to come by (may the force be with you).

Movieland will sell “day of” tickets at the box office beginning at 10 a.m. on May 19. The box office will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday through Sunday of next week to allow fans to purchase tickets well before show time each day.

The intergalactic action-thriller will play five times a day in Movieland’s biggest and best theater. The 200-seater is equipped with DTS (Digital Theater System).

Tickets at Stage 3 Theaters will be available on a “day of” basis only, as well.

“The box office will probably open at around 1, 1:15 p.m., but we might open earlier,” said manager Don Blake. “We think we might open as early as 10 a.m., but we’re just not sure yet.”

“The Phantom Menace” will play in Stage 3’s biggest theater, which seats 161 and was recently outfitted with DTS. The sound system is required of theaters that want to show the film.

“We have two DTS screens and we just got the boards for both of them,” Blake said. “It wasn’t necessarily just for [“The Phantom Menace”], but it probably had something to do with it.”

The movie will screen four times a day in Aspen, “although there’s been talk about having a midnight show as well,” Blake said.

“It’s gonna be something,” he said.

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