There was a truck parked near the doors to the stadium complete with a little smoke and periodic sound effects which startled me as I waited in line for the security screening. Once inside the stadium we picked up our complimentary concessions and proceeded back outside to our seats.
Chris McKay, director of The Tomorrow War, and star Chris Pratt said a few words of thanks to the studio, producers, and the crew prior to the screening starting. Being outdoors in June required the screening to start later than most screenings after 8:30pm. The movie is a bit long so I was quite grateful for the cushioned seats at the Banc of California Stadium. These seats were unexpected for an outdoor sports complex, and they were very comfortable. My only complaint about the seats is the way they are designed/installed caused your seat to move whenever a person in your row within 3 or 4 seats of you leaned back, forward, or even shifted around.
Overall, we found The Tomorrow War to be an entertaining alien movie, and we had a great time attending our first post-COVID premiere. It also gave us a chance to see inside the new Banc of California Stadium.
Note: Photos of the actors on the red carpet taken from 150-ish yards away on a Samsung Galaxy S21+
I’ve been looking for a system to store my pin collection which would also make it easier to find specific pins for wearing. I found two tutorials on YouTube and made tweaks of my own to fit my needs. In the process of organizing my pins I found that a minor modification was useful for storing my buttons. I don’t actively collect buttons, but I receive so many from Comic-Cons and various events. I also have a collection of buttons from my time working at Disneyland.
As always, feel free to customize this system as you wish.
1 large 3-ring binder
Self-adhesive felt sheets
Cutting mat and rotary cutter or scissors
Option 1 Directions:
Remove the adhesive from the back of the foam, and lay the foam on your clean work surface with the adhesive side facing up.
Peel back the top one inch of the backing from the felt. (Working from on the short side is easiest.)
Line up the edge sof the exposed section of the adhesive side of the felt to the adhesive side of the foam. Once they are attached, slide the rest of the backing paper off of the felt as you slide your other hand along the felt pressing it onto the foam.
Once the felt is completely attached to the foam, use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to trim the sheet to the size you need. I needed my sheets to be approximately 8 inches by 10 and a half inches. Hint: Trim a small amount on each side rather than the entire amount at once. The sheets of felt are 9-inches by 11 inches and the foam was 9 inches by 12 inches. I cut the length to 11 inches, then the other edge to 10 and half inches. I cut one side of the short length from 9 inches to 8 and one half inches, then the other short side was cut down to 8 and one quarter inches.
Nostalgia Con reunited Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada for a CHiPs reunion panel. I watched CHiPs religiously as a kid, and I was really excited to see this panel.
Erik spoke at length about what inspired him to become a police officer in real life, and it has nothing to do with CHiPs. I won’t go into details, but he was visiting an office were officers were part of a team targeting child exploitation.
Larry and Erik touched briefly on their past conflicts. Erik Estrada told the story of his on-set accident during film a scene of CHiPs. Larry’s former military training kicked in and Erik credits Larry with saving his life. Their relationship improved after that, and Erik proclaimed his love for his brother.
It feels like they are just two very different people, and there were other issues onset which created an environment ripe for arguments, but it was quite enjoyable to see these two men laugh together thirty (30) years later.
Nostalgia Con is a fan convention celebrating the 1970s to 1980s. Nostalgia Con was held September 28 to 29, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a very small convention, but I enjoyed the panels and seeing all of the great fan cars on display.
Toyota 4×4 truck (Back to the Future)
Sports Almanac from Back to the Future II
The Flux Capacitors performed on the convention floor during the convention. There was a Boombox Museum with so many boomboxes of various sizes. Remember when bigger was better for portable radios?!
There was a panel featuring three of the original MTV VJs telling stories of how MTV began, doing cocaine with rock stars, and hosting a 24 hour worldwide concert while simultaneously partying with rock stars. Other panels included Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman talking about The Goonies, Christopher Lloyd, and CHiPs to name a few.
I wish there had been more attendees at the convention, but I hope they return in future years.
After the screening we were sent across the street to after party at Highland Park Bowl. Highland Park Bowl is basically a bag with several bowling lanes. I loved the historic and vintage vibe. There was a small selection of pizza flavors to choose from for our free slice, and it was pretty good pizza. They also had themed cocktails the bars and our punch cards gave us two cocktails. The entire place was themed and decorated for the Hunters show including photographs on the staircase. I apologize for the blurry photos of the staircase photos. I was trying not to block the stairs as they led to the busy restrooms.
There was also a sword swallower performer in a side room where another bar was located and a cotton candy maker. Across the hallway there was a photo booth area where we were given mustache disguises. The photo booth took a photo and a gif, which were emailed separately. I received the emails within 10 minutes of taking the photos. We stopped by the “merchandise” booth located near the entrance/exit of the bowling alley and collected our free “bowling” sock, which was part of our punch card. The lady working the booth asked us if would like a t-shirt, too, and gave us each one. It’s the same shirt all of the bar/bowling alley staff was wearing and wasn’t part of the punch card freebies.
Amazon Prime held a bunch of free screenings with after parties in historic Highland Park Thursday, February 20 – Saturday, February 22, 2020. Due to other plans I wasn’t able to secure a ticket until they extended the events to Sunday, February 23rd. Our tickets were for the first screening and after party (no bowling) of the day. The screening was held at the Highland Theatre.
We arrived much earlier than we expected and found parking right away. There were vintage New York taxis and other cars parked directly in front of both the theater and bowling alley. We got in line an hour before show time and there had lots of people/staff dressed in 1970s attire. These people were super fun and got the fans ready for a great time.
Tickets were scanned and we were given yellow wristbands. Then canvas tote bags were handed out with a circular punch card, which would give us free swag such as popcorn, drink and candy for the movie. Security came by to check IDs to give plain white wristbands to everyone 21 year sold and over. Once inside the theater we used our punch card to get a Hunters comic book, popcorn, soda and candy. They had a small selection of candy, even candy cigarettes!! The on screen advertisements before the movie started were themed to the show, and you will recognize a few of the businesses in the very first episode.
I enjoyed the first episode screened at the event, but I’m not as thrilled with the next two episodes I viewed at home. The “visions” Jonah has are a little too much and unnecessary. Hunters is available on Amazon Prime video.
I attended Las Vegas ToyCon in 2019 which was being held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. I had previously attended ToyCon in 2016, but it was called Super ToyCon at that time and was held at the New Orleans Hotel and Casino. You can read my 2016 recaps here. The name changed to Las Vegas ToyCon with the 2018 show, which I didn’t attend.
I had purchased a 3 day ticket from Groupon, but we only attended on Saturday. I hadn’t noticed much in the way of panel programming so I just went to get some autographs on two of my Geeky Jerseys. I added two more signatures to my Darkside jersey. The first signature on this jersey was from David Prowse at Super ToyCon in 2016.
I also have a limited edition Bumblee jersey from Geeky Jerseys which I brought to have the voice of Bumblee in the Michael Bay films, Mark Ryan, autograph for me. He was very kind and spent some time chatting with us and threw in free selfies if we wanted it.
This show is very small and it’s focus is on vending and celebrity autographs/photo-ops. Each show usually has a special ToyCon edition Hot Wheels toy so I made sure to purchase one and a couple of ToyCon t-shirts as well.
Las Vegas ToyCon 2020 is March 13-15, 2020 and will be held at Eastside Cannery Casino-Hotel, which I had never heard of until this convention was announced. Groupon has great deals on tickets for Las Vegas ToyCon (search Las Vegas Toy and Comic Convention) if you’re interested in attending.
The small size of the convention will allow us plenty of time to do other things while we’re in Las Vegas such as seeing the Tim Burton Exhibit at the Neon Museum.
The last Star Wars Line Up to date was for Solo: A Star Wars Story. We returned to our Line home at the TCL Chinese Theatres Imax forecourt for a two day line which began at 7pm on May 22 and ended with the screening at 7pm on May 24, 2018. LiningUp.Net organizes shorter lines for the off-shoot films of the Star Wars franchise. Rogue One and Solo were both 2 day long Line Ups, and longer Line Ups being reserved for the core Star Wars films.
The shorter Line Ups work differently than the longer Lines. Instead of accumulating hours in Line to pick your seats, we were given a raffle ticket when we checked-in for the Line. The raffle takes place on the first night, and that’s when we get to select our seats. We also paid for our tickets and badges, and t-shirts (if we ordered one) in advance of the Line starting.
Here are the logistics for how the Line Up is run for the longer Line Ups in the time of internet pre-purchased tickets. You sign in with the organizer manning the check-in table. A release is completed and signed when you first sign up/check-in at the table. You can leave the line for a short time (to smoke, go to the bathroom, get food) as long as it’s a short-time, I think about 20-30 minutes. If you leave for a longer time, you need to check-out with the check-in/out table. So it’s easy to run home to take a shower, get more clean clothes, etc. The organizers tabulate the amount of time each person spends in line. The person who has the most hours gets to select their seats/tickets first, the person with second highest time selects their seats/tickets second, etc. I believe it was the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line they added a QR code to our name badges to use an app to tabulate the hours. It was easier for the organizers and for the rest of us, because there was more than one person who could check us in/out.
Before the opening night screening the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax hosted a plaque dedication ceremony for Carrie Fisher. The idea of the plaque was revealed on opening night for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and you can read more about that event here. The plaque was installed into the concrete in the forecourt during night of May 23, 2018. There’s nothing like the sound of a saw cutting into concrete at 2am. At least I remembered to bring my earplugs. Todd Fisher and his wife, actress Catherine Hickland, were present for the ceremony.
A couple of us mentioned an error in the plaque to theater management who was not happy. See the photo of the installed plaque. Do you see what it is? I believe it has been corrected from a recent photo I saw, but I haven’t been to the theater in a long time to see it.
After the ceremony, we milled about and did any press interviews requested for a few hours before having to clear the area. About an hour before show time, the forecourt is cleared of people and the barricades are placed between the forecourt and public sidewalks. All ticket holders get into a literal line along the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. After the screening the Lining Up group heads up to the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the third level of the Hollywood and Highland Center for our after party.
Information on the amazing work the Starlight Children’s Foundation does can be found here, and you can donate to our cause here.
You can join us for the next Line Up at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax in Hollywood from December 10-19, 2019. Help us raise money for a wonderful charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and have fun meeting fellow Star Wars fans! Check out the Facebook event page for the next Line for more information.
The LiningUp.Net Line for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was fun-filled to be sure. The Line Up started on the evening of December 7, 2017 with a number of the Line being given seats for the 200th Episode of Fatman on Batman (now called Fatman Beyond) being held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatres Imax instead of Scum & Villainy Cantina. Scum & Villainy was present to provide non-alcoholic Star Wars themed drinks for donations to Starlight Children’s Foundation. The TCL Chinese donated a 55-inch TCL 4K HDR television to be raffled off. The raffle tickets were $10 each and all of the proceeds went to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. I bought two raffle tickets and got a blue milk drink.
Kevin Smith & Marc Bernardin
LiningUp organizer, Sameer Bakhda
Grimlock telling Kevin Smith & Marc Bernardin stories
I managed to get a seat in the front row for the podcast. You can watch the video of the podcast here. Spoiler: I won the tv!! I was in need of a new tv as I had recently moved and didn’t take my old one with me since it was near its end.
That Justice League popcorn tin has the winning ticket!
My brand new television!
I gave myself a craft project of making some felt and yarn Princess Leia headbands for Line members and whomever else would want one. Using hot glue in cold weather made this project a little difficult. I used some scraps to make a mini headband for the Porg plush of one of our young Line members. The headbands also doubled as earmuffs to keep us warm.
As usual, there were press around doing interviews and taking photos of the Line. One of the nights, Red Robin made a generous donation to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and provided the line with free dinners of burgers and sandwiches. Skywalking Through Neverland podcast brought the inflatable At-AT and hosted Star Wars trivia with prizes.
Some of our late night shenanigans included all night Cards Against Humanity session and trapping a Line organizer in his tent. I didn’t sleep in a tent the night they did the tent thing. I woke up to giggling and saw what they were doing. I took a couple of pictures and went back to sleep.
A celebration for Carrie Fisher was held the in the afternoon on the last day of the Line Up, December 14, 2017, prior to the screening on opening night. An image of a plaque which will be placed in the forecourt in honor of Carrie Fisher was revealed. The forecourt was closed to the public during the ceremony and only press and the Lining Up group were allowed to be inside the barricades. There was also a cake which was cut after the plaque announcement ceremony which included some words from Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother.
There was an after party for the Lining Up group held at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres after the movie where we ate pizza to our hearts content and played some games provided by Dave & Busters which has a location at the Hollywood and Highland Center, too.
My BB-8 drink cup and straw
BB-8 in a trash bin & R2-D2
Go to LiningUp.Net for more information on past and future Star Wars Lines. You can also follow them on Instagram (@LiningUp_net) and Twitter (@LiningUpNet), and be sure to check them out on Facebook here.
Get information on the amazing work the Starlight Children’s Foundation does here, and be sure to donate here.
The second Line Up I participated in was for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This Line Up was also organized by LiningUp.Net and held at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax in Hollywood, California. This was a shorter line from 7pm on December 13 to 7pm (first showing of Rogue One) on December 15, 2016. As always we raised money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and chose our seats in order of total time spent in the Line. More details on how time is tallied is on my recap of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Line.
Gilberto Picasso in Cassian Andor costume
Grimlock as an Jedi Ewok
Brian Lee as a Jedi
Thankfully, it wasn’t as cold during this line as it was for the last half of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Line Up. This is the first Line Up where I watched the movie with the rest of the Line members, and it was a blast.
The TCL Chinese Theatre Imax hosted a costume contest in the forecourt a few hours before the 7pm showtime. First prize was a 55” TCL television. Two of the judges were Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett), and cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty. A few of our Line members competed in the costume contest, but the win went to this amazing Amidala costume made and worn by Dawn Bright.
We had a few more hours before the show to hang out and do more press. There were a lot of press outlets there for the costume contest, and they stayed and interviewed several people from the Line and other fans including yours truly. Then we cleaned up and put our belongings in our cars before getting into a literal line on side walk along Hollywood Boulevard until the theater staff began letting us into the theater for the movie. The Lining Up group gathered in front of the Imax screen with our lightsabers alight and took a group photo. Then we made our way back to our seats to watch Rogue One. After the screening, the Line members and organizers went upstairs to the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the third level of the Hollywood and Highland Center for the after party.
Costume Contest Judges
For more information on Lining Up here. Like their Facebook page, and you can follow them on Instagram (@LiningUp_Net) and Twitter (@LiningUpNet), too!
Information on the amazing work the Starlight Children’s Foundation does can be found here, and you can donate to our cause here.
You can check out this video with some interviews with the costume contest participants and yours truly (but they misspelled my last name).