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Marengo Theater to show ‘Eclipse’ at midnight

The Marengo Theater will break new ground at month’s end when it hosts a midnight showing of Eclipse, the third film in the wildly popular Twilight saga.

“I’ve been watching with the first Twilight movie and the second one and the amount of people that go has always been good,” Marengo Theater manager Jimmy Dukes said of the series, which is at its heart a love story but also features vampires among other paranormal creatures. “There are a lot of people who follow this story. It is a love story, but it also has action for the guys.”

An event that is not uncommon in cities such as Tuscaloosa, the Eclipse premiere will mark the first such show time for the Marengo Theater.

“You’ve got to take a gamble once in a while and try things that haven’t been done,” Dukes said.

The idea to attempt a midnight showing stemmed from the buzz surrounding the film. Dukes recognizes the popularity of the series and had encountered a number of people willing to drive upwards of an hour to see the film on opening night.

The theater has begun to bring in a number of well-hyped films on opening weekend during the last few months, an accomplishment Dukes said stems from the venue’s newfound willingness to publicize itself.

“We’ve been advertising a lot,” Dukes said. “The movie companies themselves have gained trust with us because we’ve been out there more.”

Buzz for the event began to pick up recently when the theater announced its intentions. While the film does not open until 12:01 a.m. on June 30, tickets will go on sale for the showing beginning Friday.

“Probably at the 12 a.m. show, I expect it will be full,” Dukes said of his desire to reach the near-350-seat capacity at the theater. “We will probably sell out.”

For now, Dukes will look for lines to start forming late on the evening of June 29 in preparation for the Eclipse.

Tickets for that show are $6 and will go on sale Friday with box office hours running from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m.