The Hollywood area has been caught in the gravitional field of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead of the film’s highly anticipated premiere at multiple theaters Monday evening.
The Los Angeles Police Department shut down a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard over the weekend, between Sycamore and Highland avenues, and on Monday closed Hawthorn Avenue, one block south, between Orange Drive and Highland. The closures will be in effect until midnight.
In the hours leading up to the premiere, metal detectors and crowd control barriers lined the area around the El Capitan, Dolby, and TCL Chinese theaters, where The Force Awakens is screening. In all, the three venues can accommodate more than 5,000 viewers.
The TCL also hosted the premiere of the original Star Wars in 1977, back when it was known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Officer Aareon Jefferson of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division told EW there will be “extra security measures to make sure everything goes smoothly” because the premiere will be “bigger than normal.” He declined to provide details about what precautions will be taken and how many officers will be deployed.
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Currently, shoppers visiting stores at the Hollywood & Highland Center and premiere attendees headed for the will-call area must pass through security checkpoints. According to reports, bomb-sniffing dogs and private security guards are present as well.
Disney did not immediately reply to requests for comment about security at the premiere.
While the scale of the The Force Awakens premiere is larger than usual, street closures and other precautions are de rigueur for high-profile premieres. Sections of Hollywood Boulevard will be closed again Tuesday and Wednesday when Point Break and The Revenant make their debuts.