Twihards Camp Out In L.A. For 'Eclipse' Premiere

Hundreds of fans are camped out in downtown Los Angeles for Thursday's premiere of the latest installment of The Twilight Saga. The movie opens nationwide next week.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The premiere for the third installment of the "Twilight" movie series is tomorrow night in Los Angeles. Now, we do not yet have a review, but the 500 people camped out do not need one.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

They've all ready been waiting days to get a spot on the red carpet for "Twilight: Eclipse." They won't actually get in to see the movie, which doesn't open in theaters until next week. The fans just want a chance to see the young stars in the flesh.

NPR's Ben Bergman reports.

BEN BERGMAN: There was "Twilight: New Moon;" next year, "Twilight: Breaking Dawn." And now playing downtown, it's "Twilight: Tent City." It's quite a sight, rows and rows of tents pitched smack dab in the middle of the massive, new L.A. Live entertainment and shopping complex. This makeshift campground was set up Sunday. But Desiree Mejia(ph) and her eight friends showed up last Thursday to secure a spot. And I say friends very loosely.

Ms. DESIREE MEJIA: We all met online and through Twitter, pretty much all social networks. None of us really knew each other.

BERGMAN: Considering they have been living in an outdoor mall for the week and keeping hours more suited to a vampire, everyone is still in pretty good spirits. Just don't ask if they're worried about the movie being good.

Ms. MAGGIE EGUERRA: Oh, don't worry. I will like the movie.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. EGUERRA: There's no option there. It's like, I love everybody from the cast. I'm a true fan of "Twilight."

BERGMAN: That true fan is Maggie Eguerra(ph) from McAllen, Texas. This is her first camping trip. With such loyalty, she's the sort of person movie executives probably dream about at night. These Twihards camping here who dream of Edward or Jacob are mostly all female, but they're not all young.

Ms. BELINDA HENDON: I'm a member of "Twilight" Moms, and I'm here with a group of my fellow "Twilight" Moms, camping out.

BERGMAN: Belinda Hendon(ph) is from Memphis, Tennessee, with women she's met online from all over the country. Many of them attended the "New Moon" premiere as well as a "Twilight" convention in Dallas last year.

Ms. HENDON: Through that world, we formed our own world and really made real, live connections - and it's wonderful. It's special. And my God, kids think I'm absolutely insane.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BERGMAN: Meredith Thackerson(ph) says her kids hate "Twilight" precisely because she loves it. All the more reason to be here.

Ms. MEREDITH THACKERSON: At home, I can't get my kids to go with me. My husband will kind of go, but he doesn't really want to watch it. But just being together with a group of people that really like it, it's going to be worth it.

BERGMAN: Everyone here is wearing coveted wristbands, their golden ticket to the red carpet tomorrow night. Since they already have the wristband, they are free to actually leave the "Twilight" tent city anytime and return to the real world. Very few do, though. They prefer waiting here, together.

Ben Bergman, NPR News, Los Angeles.

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