Saturday morning we were close to sold out, but the theater assured us they had plenty of additional seating if we needed it. Next thing I know, there's a line out the door and around the block. Seriously. It looked like the opening of Star Wars. The owner came to the same realization I did that there was no way everyone was getting in. He immediately declared the show sold out, but told folks not to leave. Everyone who could fit in would be admitted. Thomas patrolled the line, making sure everyone who already had a ticket found their way to a seat. I handed out the rest of the reserved tickets, and directed those people to seats. Then the remaining seats were sold, and discounted tickets went to those willing to sit on the floor. Anyone who wanted to stand could keep their money and find a spot in the back. A few people hung out in the projection booth. We apologized to the remaining 20 or so, but fire codes wouldn't permit anyone else. They had to go home.
It was organized chaos. Eventually, Thomas ducked in the theatre to introduce the movie, and actually had to jump over a kid sitting on the floor. Neither of us could get into the theatre, even standing.
From what I could tell, the movie was an unqualified success. I expected the cast and crew to be complimentary, but a lot of people I didn't know came up to tell me how impressed they were with the film. I fully expected the folks who had to stand to get tired and leave before the movie was done, but they didn't! People actually stood for two hours to watch this film! Again, these people were not cast, crew, friends or family. These were just ordinary people who heard about the movie on the news and decided to come out and see what it was about. That they enjoyed themselves (in spite of the whole standing thing) really means a lot to us.
The reception was also, very much, a DIY celebration. We reserved a really pretty park area in the middle of the artsier section of downtown, walking distance from the theatre. There was a cake, a couple of coolers full of sodas and bottled water, and paper decorations. The whole event had a very relaxed, informal, outdoor barbeque kind of vibe, and really fit the mood of the crowd. Honestly, I don't think it could have been any more fun. Everywhere you looked, kids were playing in the fountain, patrons were finding their favorite cast members for photos, and families were just hanging out, enjoying a piece of cake on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. I was happy.