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Turnout for ‘Star Wars’ premiere forces closure of Hollywood Boulevard

Preparations continue along Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at TLC Chinese Theatre on Monday night.

Preparations continue along Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at TLC Chinese Theatre on Monday night.

(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The Force may be strong in Hollywood on Monday night, but it’s a more earthly force that will be keeping traffic in check during a highly awaited motion picture premiere.

Die-hard “Star Wars” fans began congregating around TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood weeks ahead of the scheduled premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” In preparation for the event, the Los Angeles Police Department shut down a portion of Hollywood Boulevard this weekend and plans to keep it closed until Wednesday.

The closure affects Hollywood Boulevard from Sycamore to Highland avenues. Hawthorn Avenue between Orange Drive and Highland Avenue will also be closed to vehicle traffic until midnight, police said.

Media outlets reported that officers had metal detectors in some areas in order to check pedestrians near the theater. Crews were working to lay out the red carpet and build other event sets Monday.

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TCL Theatre holds historical value for the “Star Wars” franchise -- it’s where the original film made its premiere in 1977 when the business was known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The handprints of some of its biggest stars remain in the pavement in front of the building.

On Tuesday, Hollywood Boulevard will be closed from 10 a.m. to midnight for the premiere of “Point Break,” and on Wednesday for the premiere of “The Revenant.”

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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