Fans descending on Hollywood Boulevard for the Monday night premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be subjected to a barrage of beefed-up security measures as local authorities prepare for what could be the largest movie premiere of all time.
Hollywood Boulevard has been completely shut down between Highland and La Brea Avenue, according to The Hollywood Reporter. To put it into perspective, the cordoned-off space is roughly four times the amount usually reserved for the Academy Awards.
THR reports that bomb-sniffing dogs are patrolling the perimeters of the press tent, where stars like Harrison Ford, John Boyega and director J.J. Abrams will speak to the media before entering the premiere. Each of the three theaters in the closed-off section of Hollywood Boulevard — the Dolby Theatre, the El Capitan, and the TCL Chinese Theater — will screen the film simultaneously Monday night, meaning more than 5,000 people will catch the first-ever showing.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that anyone walking in the area around the theaters could be subjected to random searches. While the source told the outlet there are no specific threats against the premiere, law enforcement is using an “abundance of caution” due to the amount of people involved. Disney reportedly paid $20,000 to hire extra LAPD officers to patrol the event.
Some die-hard fans had camped out on Hollywood Boulevard for as long as a week before the premiere, pitching tents near the entrance of the Chinese Theater. Two Australian super-fans had planned to get married shortly before the film’s debut Monday night in a ceremony orchestrated by the theater. The bride was set to wear a white dress affixed with handmade crystal X-wing fighters, according to the Daily Mail.
The first Star Wars film premiered at what was then called the Mann’s Chinese Theatre in 1977.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens rolls out in theaters nationwide on December 18.