Douglas Brown of Newport News knew what he wanted: to see the very first screening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the ultimate "destination theater" in Hampton Roads.
And because the Commodore in Portsmouth doesn't sell advance tickets, he knew what he had to do.
Brown, 43, arrived at the historic art deco theater in Old Town Portsmouth late Wednesday evening and camped out overnight. Wrapped in a Pittsburgh Steelers blanket, sitting in a wheelchair due to a clotting disorder in his right leg, he spent a solitary 12 hours under the Commodore's marquee awning.
"I have pretty severe insomnia, so I didn't sleep at all," he said. "A few homeless people stopped by to talk a little bit and asked why I was out here. Other than that, it was just me."
The line began forming behind him around 7 a.m. Thursday. Brown smiled as he gestured to the dozen or so people sitting on the sidewalk around 9 a.m.
"I wish some of these guys would have shown up a little earlier," he said with a laugh. "Half the fun is standing in line. You meet good people."
Brown planned to buy two tickets for the 7 p.m. premiere of "The Force Awakens." He will attend the screening with his son. They are looking forward to seeing the much-anticipated film on the Commodore's 41-foot screen with THX technology and Dolby Digital sound.
"This whole thing is such a great experience," Brown said. "Everything I've heard about the film sounds so great. I can't wait to see it."
The Commodore box office opens around noon and only sells tickets for that day's screenings.