Moviegoers attend 'Twilight' movie marathon

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Local cinemas hosted a Twilight marathon before the debut of the final movie in the series at midnight. from left, Shelby Brown, Mandy Rice, Jodee Hayka, Fay Part and Crystal H. Norman anxiously await the start of the films at Perkins Rowe on Thursday. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Local cinemas hosted a Twilight marathon before the debut of the final movie in the series at midnight. from left, Shelby Brown, Mandy Rice, Jodee Hayka, Fay Part and Crystal H. Norman anxiously await the start of the films at Perkins Rowe on Thursday.

‘Twi-hards’ slake thirst at marathon

“The more you go into it, it’s really about the ultimate sacrifice a young girl makes to be with the one she loves. It’s like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story.” Heather cazes,   “Twilight” fan

Heather Cazes and her friends arrived at the Perkins Rowe shopping center at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning to eat breakfast in preparation for the all-day “Twilight” movie marathon that preceded the debut of the fifth and final movie in the series, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”

Cazes and 14 other members of the “Do I Dazzle You” book club were among more than 130 “Twi-hards,” as hardcore “Twilight” fans are called, who eagerly awaited the all-day marathon and movie debut for which fans have been clamoring for about a year.

Some other fans who missed out on the marathon, or simply could not get off work, went to the double feature that began around 10 p.m.

The fourth installment, “Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” was released Nov. 18, 2011, and the final scenes left fans thirsting for more. Fans of all ages, like the book club, arrived at the Cinemark at Perkins Rowe early to get prime seating.

Cazes and other members of the book club came out as a group last year for the marathon preceding “Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” and while they waited hours in a long line, they told each other that they would not be back if theaters hosted marathons for the final movie.

That went out the window as anticipation for the final movie grew. Club members called each another and they bought tickets as soon as possible on Oct. 1.

“The more you go into it, it’s really about the ultimate sacrifice a young girl makes to be with the one she loves,” Cazes said. “It’s like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story.”

Kevin Martin, assistant manager of the Cinemark at Perkins Rowe, said the theater sold out quickly once the $25 tickets for the marathon went on sale Oct. 1.

Martin said once the tickets sold out, people contacted theater staff, trying to scam their way into the marathon by claiming credit card errors and that their cards had been charged twice, but they only received one ticket.

He said the marathon and double feature of “Breaking Dawn” sold out quickly, but the midnight showings did not sell out like the other “Twilight” movies did.

Cindy Gehling, 53, of Zachary, who arrived with three friends, said she began reading the books for the same reason as many other fans — recommendations from friends.

“I wasn’t into vampires, but when I started reading them, I just couldn’t get enough of them,” Cindy Gehling said.

The same thing happened when she talked her sister-in-law, Jamie Gehling, 51, of Zachary, into reading the books. Jamie also became hooked and said she read all four books in one week.

“It changed me as far as youth, you realize how short life is,” Cindy Gehling said. “This brings that up because the of immortality in it. I don’t get mad at anything anymore. It’s made me a better person.”

Fay Part, 36, of Baton Rouge, a member of the book club, said the love story is what initially drew her into the saga, but the storyline kept her going back. She also said the directors and producers of the movies have done an admirable job staying true to the books.

“The books are always better because I’m a reader, but I think they’ve been pretty close to the books,” Part said.

According to the International Business Times, 116 million copies of the books have been sold since 2005 and the first four films have grossed more than $2.5 billion.