Only 4 1/2 months to wait in line

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The new "Star Wars" movie doesn’t open here until May 16, but John Guth and Jeff Tweiten already have their spots in line.

Guth, 32, and Tweiten, 24, took their places outside the landmark Cinerama theater on Jan. 1. They plan to wait there, taking snooze breaks in sleeping bags or a nearby van, for 4 1/2months, until the curtain opens on "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."

The pair is undeterred by the fact that even Cinerama management doesn’t yet know whether the movie will play at the theater.

Guth is president of the Seattle Star Wars Society. He wears a custom tuxedo sewn from a set of "Star Wars" bedsheets to all society functions.

Tweiten is one of the club’s roughly 1,200 members. He has a life-size Yoda replica he won in a "Star Wars" trivia contest.

The two said in a written statement that they are "dedicating their lives to a cultural phenomenon that has inspired their hearts and instructed their values throughout their lives."

In person, they were more focused on the task at hand.

"We’re trying to capture the art of waiting," said Tweiten, a former art student who said he had been living with his parents on Bainbridge Island before the vigil.

Guth said he owns a home in West Seattle and a multimedia production company. To capture "the journey and the evolution of waiting for an event," the two are taking hourly photos of themselves and will post them on a Web site still under construction at www.WaitingForStarWars.com

Both men are single.

Guth said donations from Star Wars Society members cover food costs. They’re killing time in line reading, watching movies on Guth’s portable DVD player and talking to people waiting for the movie currently running at Cinerama, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."

"I admire their enthusiasm for the movie, but as it’s been proven in the past, everyone who wants to see this or any other film will be able to get tickets for it," said Brian Callaghan, spokesman for General Cinema, which manages the Cinerama.

The theater ran "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" all day and night at first so fans could see it on opening day, he said.

The theater will not allow Guth and Tweiten to use its restroom.

"We don’t encourage anyone to spend five months outside a movie theater," Callaghan said.

And if the movie should open elsewhere locally?

"Then we’ll go there," Guth said.

Copyright ©2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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