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Sold Out: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Hits Northern Virginia Theaters

Is it curtains for the caped crusader?

Well, it's over. "The Dark Knight Rises"—the conclusion of the three-film Batman series by director Christopher Nolan—was arguably the most anticipated summer movie ever. Thousands of Northern Virginians waited for hours in line in the rain Thursday night to be the first to see it as it made its debut just after midnight.

Most area theaters sold out, including the AMC Hoffman (all 22 screens) and the Kingstowne 16. Fans wore Batman T-shirts, costumes, replica headpieces and even feathered caps. 

"I haven't ever waited this long in line," said Alexandria resident Tamara Gonzalez, 22, who waited for five hours at the head of the line with four of her friends at the AMC Hoffman.  

In Kingstowne, it looked like Lorton's David Bernier, 20, and two of his friends crashed the wrong party. The trio (wands in hand) showed up in wizard outfits. Still, Bernier is a fan of the caped crusader. 

"I bought my ticket electronically two weeks ago, and it felt great," he said. "My friends and I are interns at different places, and we don't have much to do, so I pretty much read reviews of the movie all day."  

The AMC Tysons theater showed the movie on 13 of its 16 screens, and three of the theaters ran the other two films throughout the day. Lines started forming at 5:30 p.m., and wound into the food court. The trilogy crowd, prepared to watch nearly nine hours of crime-fighting in Gotham City, were given two commemorative posters, lanyards and tags before setting off to join the new lines queueing up at the concessions. 

"I totally stayed away from spoilers," said Mihran Erkiletian, 22, of McLean, who spoke to Patch in a full Batman costume at the Tyson's ticket counter. "The end? Batman isn't going to die. He just can't die."

And when the lights dimmed, cheers broke out in the IMAX theater as one fan lit up a Batman flashlight and aimed it at the blackened screen just before the 12:01 a.m. showing. 

Did you see the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises"? Tell us what you thought in the comments!

Susan Larson July 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Warner Brothers issued this statement Friday morning about the shootings at the Aurora, Colorado, midnight showing of the movie: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time." According to news reports early Friday, police had confirmed 12 deaths and about 38 injured people.
Leslie Perales Loges July 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Thought I nearly ran into you at the AMC Tysons last night and was going to say hi but I got swallowed by the crowd. :) They actually started to show the wrong film in the IMAX theater and got through the preview/silence your phones/AMC bit and about three minutes into the movie before they finally got around to fixing it, so we didn't get out until sometime around 3:30 because the film didn't actually start until nearly 12:30.
James Cullum July 20, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Just awful. Innocent Americans are losing their freedom from fear. Incidents like this are one of the world's most twisted forms of cowardice, led by people too weak to live their lives peacefully.
robocop554 July 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
What the heck... does everything have to ruined... really you can't even enjoy a freakin good movie with fearing for your life... to bad batmans not real... because evil crazy people sure are real....
Leslie Perales Loges July 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM
I was watching the Dark Knight Rises/Aurora's Dark Knight episode of "Spoilers with Kevin Smith" on Hulu earlier and rather than doing their normal screening they were simply discussing what happened. One person pointed out the juxtaposition of the shootings and how Batman is against using guns. Kevin Smith was talking about how now when he's in the theater, rather than having his eyes glued to the screen, he's paying more attention to his peripheral vision and what else is happening in the theater. It was interesting. I think the best thing I've read though is Christopher Nolan's response to it (below): Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.

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