‘Twilight’ mania hits Westwood with the premiere of ‘New Moon’


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Yvonne Villarreal and Claudia Eller covered last night’s big premiere for ‘Twilight Saga: New Moon.’ Here’s their report...


It was a premiere so highly anticipated even the wolves came out. Literally.

About 3,000 people were invited to the premiere of ‘New Moon,’ the latest installment in the ‘Twilight’ saga, held Monday at the Mann’s Village, Bruin and Regent theaters in Westwood Village. But even the uninvited came out in droves. Thousands of screaming fans -- holding signs and snapping pictures -- crammed the sidewalks hoping for a glimpse of their favorite fang-toothed (or brawny, in the case of the werewolf fanatics) characters. Rob. Kristen. Taylor -- last names needed only for the uninitiated. They each made a point of approaching the screaming masses -- taking pictures, signing posters and shaking hands -- before making their way through the red carpet media frenzy.

The frenzy would pick up again once the ending credits to the sequel in the ‘Twilight’ franchise, based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novels, began rolling. Between 1,800 and 1,900 invited guests filtered out of the theater and walked to the premiere’s after-party, held at the nearby Hammer Museum. The modern space was transformed into a ‘Twilight’ wonderland.

The film’s St. Marco’s Festival, celebrating the expulsion of vampires from Volterra, Italy, was re-created in the museum’s interior space. Red lanterns dangled from the ceiling. Servers donned red cloaks. Even the menu took an Italian cue; the affair was catered by Wolfgang Puck -- naturally. There were even cupcakes with vampire teeth sunk into the frosting.

Meyer. Dakota Fanning. Ashley Greene. They all took in the sights of the make-believe Italy. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner? They did too. But with security and velvet ropes to shield them from the masses.

The lush forests of Forks, Wash., also made an appearance. Off in the tented area, moss-covered rocks and leafy foliage filled the space. There were no signs of tree-climbing vampires. But two wolves (with wranglers) were prowling (behind a barricade) the scene -- keeping the vampires at bay.

-- Claudia Eller and Yvonne Villarreal


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