Back in February, I managed to tick something that’s been on my comping wishlist for ages – winning tickets to a film premiere. They’re actually relatively easy to win, but due to being BUSY ALL THE TIME I don’t enter as many as I should. However, in a rare occasion of me actually picking up the phone to a caller, I found out I’d won a pair of tickets to the Grimsby premiere in London.
When I first found out I’d won the tickets, I was a bit apprehensive. What should I wear? Where did we go to? What if I did a J-Law on the red carpet? So obviously, I went straight to Google to find out what to expect at a film premiere. And, as I didn’t find much, I thought it’d be pretty awesome of me to share my own experience for anyone in the same boat.
Like most London premieres for mainstream releases, it was being hosted at Leicester Square Odeon, and after arriving early, collecting my tickets from the Global offices and pushing through the crowds, I did what most sensible people would do. I waited for Conor in KFC with a Fully Loaded Meal.
In the end, I remembered I wasn’t ACTUALLY famous, wouldn’t get papped and wouldn’t find myself on the gossip pages in the next day’s Metro, so went for a smart casual outfit of relatively nice dress and black boots. Flat ones, to avoid any chance of J-Law-ing. Turns out, smart casual was the way to go – although most of the men were in at least shirts/suit jackets, none of the ‘regular people’ attending were particularly ‘dressed up’, and I think if I’d gone full on glam I would have felt a bit awkward, like I was TRYING too hard or something.
The Red Carpet
Yep, we totally got to walk the red carpet. We walked round to the entrance to the middle garden bit of the square (which probably only makes sense if you’ve been there) and flashed our passes at the security guards. After walking through the square, we were let loose on the carpet itself and walked up towards the cinema entrance. Honestly, other than someone asking Conor for an autograph (LOL), we weren’t paid any attention to at all, and there was barely even time for a selfie as we were moved along as quickly as possible. Most of the celebs had already arrived by the time we got there, but I spotted Jonny Vegas and walked past the evening’s host Alex Zane looking snappy and chatting to a camera.
In the Cinema
Once we’d been ushered down the red carpet like the non-celebrity peasants that they assumed we were (er, do you know who I am?!), we entered the cinema itself. I’d never actually seen a film at the Leicester Square Odeon, so it was all new to me. The screen we were in was pretty massive, with two levels and plush, leopard print seats. We were right at the front in the centre, with plenty of legroom and a great view when the cast came on stage (more on that in a second!). On our seats, we found a complimentary bag of popcorn and bottle of water, and there were also vendors in the cinema selling confectionery and drinks. We were good and refrained (plus, the queue was mega).
Cast and Director Appearance
After being shown highlights of the red carpet and interviews with the film’s stars on screen, the cast and director made their way onto the stage – including Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Vegas and loads more. This part was shorter than I was expecting, as I’d imagined they’d do a few speeches and perhaps a Q&A with the host. But after a few words from the director and SBC himself, they headed back offstage and to their seats (away from us mere mortals) and the film began.
After this, it was pretty much like any normal cinema experience, really. Walking the red carpet was definitely a unique experience, and if I’m lucky enough to get hold of tickets to another one I’ll definitely try and slow down and enjoy the walk a bit more. In the end, we got a free cinema trip, slight bragging rights and a fun way to spend an evening – all from spending less than 60 seconds filling in an entry form on XFM‘s website. I’ll take that.
Have you ever been to a film premiere?