WATCH: Gala cinema set for Star Wars ‘frenzy’

Pavilion cinema manager Andrew Poole says he has not seen such interest in a movie opening since the first Harry Potter film back in 2001.

But he expects the seventh film in the Star Wars franchise to break box office records not just here in the Borders but around the world when it opens on Thursday.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..L to R: Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford)..Ph: Film Frame..�Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..L to R: Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford)..Ph: Film Frame..�Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its global premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday night and within minutes of it ending, social media was buzzing with the first comments - although official media reviews were embargoed until yesterday (Wednesday) by the Disney corporation.

The movie giant acquired the rights to the Star Wars brand when it bought Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas in a $4billion deal four years ago.

Much of the excitment surrounding the new movie is due to the stars of the first in the series, which hit the big screen 38 years ago, who all reprise their original roles.

And the biggest cheers of the night in LA were reserved for them - Star Wars legends Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

Asked why the Star Wars story is still so popular, Mr Poole said Lucas’ imagination had brought forth one of the most enduring stories ever to appear on the big screen.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in the industry since The Empire Strikes Back first opened in 1981, and I’ve seen the way customers become engulfed in the story and drawn into the Star Wars universe many times,” he told us.

“The trailers for The Force Awakens have been teasing the fans for over a year, and perhaps even giving a bit too much away at times, but it’s fair to say I haven’t seen such a ‘frenzy’ of activity and interest from our customers about a new film since the very first Harry Potter film. “We have sold lots of tickets in advance of the film opening, but it’s important to stress that at the time of writing we still have tickets available for all performances.

“We are showing the film in 2D and 3D and we have scheduled extra performances over the opening four days to try and satisfy demand.

“But it’s fair to say that booking comes strongly recommended for all performances of Star Wars over the Christmas season.”

Early indications were Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on track to be a massive hit. Adam B Vary, senior film reporter for Buzzfeed, tweeted: “Rest easy: TheForceAwakens is 100% StarWars.”

LA Times film writer, Rebecca Keegan, wrote: “Story, characters, design, humour - StarWars fans, this is the movie you’re looking for.”

And actress Elizabeth Banks, who also attended the premiere, was also impressed. She tweeted: “StarWarsForceAwakens totally delivers. Just wow.”