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Ghostbusters: Afterlife New York City Premiere Report (November 15, 2021)

 By Paul Rudoff on Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Personal, Ghostbusters: Afterlife
In the theater lobby, I met up with that fellow Ghosthead whom I chatted with on line. We took a photo together. (Buddy, if you're reading this, please tell me your name and share that photo.) The AMC staff provided us with free popcorn and bottles of soda or water.

Although this was an AMC theater, they did not have the Ecto-1 Popcorn Container or any of the other theater-exclusive Afterlife merch. Since they had no merch, the AMC theater I went to this past Friday didn't have any (FYI: The AMC theater in Rockville Centre, New York is horrible and should be avoided at all costs), their website screwed around with me and hundreds of others this past Monday until the popcorn container was out of stock, and the AMC press contact never replied to my request to get the popcorn container and other merchandise to review on Spook Central (like they sent to Ghostbusters News up in Canada), I get the distinct feeling that AMC doesn't want me to have it. Such a shame they would treat the guy who operates the longest-running Ghostbusters website this way. Take my advice folks, go to Regal Cinema and see the film there. They have reclining seats!

All of us sat in the same room with the cast and crew to watch the film. I was in Row B, Seat 23. Not the best seat, as I was too close to the screen (I was looking up and left and right at the film the entire time), and was too far away from the people giving a pre-movie speech. This framegrab from Sony's "B-Roll Part 3" video (I already linked to it a few paragraphs ago) shows the crowd in the theater. I added an arrow pointing to where I am sitting in the second row from the front (on the right of the photo), though you can't see me in the photo.

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Now, if you want to see what it looks like from my point of view - in the opposite direction - here you go.

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Around 8:15 PM, Tom Rothman (chairman of Sony Pictures) got up to give a pre-movie speech.

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Then Jason and Ivan Reitman both said a few words, while the cast waited in the wings. Jason called out Violet Ramis and her sister, who were sitting in the back of the auditorium. He stated that the movie, and this showing, are both dedicated to their father, Harold Ramis.

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Next, they called out the young cast, starting with Celeste O'Connor, Logan Kim, and Mckenna Grace. Jason introduced Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd as "Two of the sexiest human beings I know."

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Then, of course, "the real reason any of us are here": Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. (Finn Wolfhard, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver did not attend the premiere.) Ivan closed the six-minute speech with, "Let's Go, Ghostbusters!" Did he intentionally reference Filmation, or was it a slip of the tongue?

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Below is the complete video of the pre-movie speech taken by Robert "Videobob" Moseley, though I pumped up the audio volume in spots (especially when Ivan was talking) so everyone can be heard a little better. I'm really grateful that he had a better phone and slightly better seats than I did. He was in the row in front of me and about two or three seats to the right. You can actually catch a glimpse of me on the right side of the screen at the 19:59 mark in Bob's complete video. Look for the guy wearing a gray shirt, American Flag mask, and a black No Ghost cap. That's me! (I'm using Bob's video in place of my own because I missed the first minute or two of Rothman's part as my brain didn't think "you should be video recording this, not taking still photos of it" quick enough. Also, my phone is crap, and I was too far away from the orators for them to look like people and not white blobs.)

Play Video

After the speech, Bill, Dan, Ernie, Jason, Ivan, etc. all sat down and watched the movie with us. No, they weren't sitting right next to us, but we were all in the same room together watching the film. The entire crowd thoroughly enjoyed the film, laughing throughout, almost non-stop.

After the movie was over, we all filed out. Of course, several of us made our way to the facilities. I'm near-positive that I saw John Rothman (librarian Roger Delacorte from the original film) in the Men's room. I didn't ask him if he was who I thought he was because that wasn't the ideal place and time for an introduction.

It was now 10:40 PM and getting kinda late. Still, I had reason to stick around the lobby for a little while longer. It was there that I got more autographs and photos. (A super HUGE thanks to Matthew Jordan for fixing up these next three photos. At some point in the evening, the flash got turned off on my phone's camera, so all of the original photos inside the building were kinda dark. Matt did an AMAZING job making them look good. Well, as good as could be expected given that they were taken with a crappy phone.)

First, I met the adorably awesome Mckenna Grace. Since she was too busy in the tent to sign my magazine, this was the perfect opportunity. That makes Autograph #5. She was sweet enough to take a photo with me. Sadly, I forgot to tell her that we both share the same birthday, June 25th, though 29 years apart; and that I remember her as the littlest daughter on the Disney XD series Crash & Bernstein.

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Next, I met up with Jason Reitman. He already signed my magazine in the tent, so I asked if I could have my photo taken with him. Interesting, he was sans mask while we talked, but put on his Ghostbusters: Afterlife mask for the photo.

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The last celeb I met in the upstairs theater lobby was the affable Ernie Hudson. He provided Autograph #6, but getting a photo with him was a bit trickier. Since I am not a Millennial, I can't take a good selfie to save my life. See the one at the top of this page in front of "Spook Central" as an example. The ones I'm not sharing of me in front of Ecto-1 are even worse. I asked his wife Linda if she would be gracious enough to take a photo of me and Ernie with my phone. She looked at me like I was speaking Gozerian. Finally, the security personnel stepped in to help. I think it might have been the same guy who gave me grief on the red carpet earlier.

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As I was leaving, I found Celeste O'Connor downstairs. It wasn't hard to miss her since he was quite exquisitely dressed. I politely tapped her on her bare shoulder and asked her to sign my magazine. This would be Autograph #7, though she made the comment, "This is the last one." Listen, I don't know what she's had gone through the entire evening with people asking her for autographs, but that comment came off as very rude. Don't take it out on me because you don't like this aspect of your job. One of her friends (or hanger-ons) made another rude comment about selling it on eBay. Yeah, like the guy who's run a Ghostbusters website for over 25 years is really going to do that. Hell, I once had a Ghostbusters II photo hand-signed by Bill, Dan, Harold, Ernie, and Sigourney. That photo was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in late 2012. This magazine is the closest I will ever get to replacing that. I'll donate kidneys before I sell this magazine. I think I'll be buried with it.

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My reward for waiting in the freezing cold outside for three to three and a half hours was that, though some diligence, I was able to get my copy of Empire magazine signed by nearly everyone who was in attendance! It was signed by Jason Reitman, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O'Connor, Logan Kim, Carrie Coon, Ernie Hudson, and Dan Aykroyd (who, unfortunately, signed it on the back!). I was unable to get Ivan Reitman, Bill Murray, J.K. Simmons (whom I did not know was there AND acted in the movie), and Paul Rudd to add their signatures to it. Finn Wolfhard, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver were not in attendance, so the magazine is missing their John Hancocks, as well. Eventually, I will add this scan to the My Ghostbusters Autograph Collection page.

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I left the theater a little before 11:00 PM. I saw a few Ghostbusters filming locations on the cab ride back to Penn Station: Lincoln Center, The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, and the slimed phone location a block over from the church. I left my house around 3:15 PM, and got back home about 12:45 AM. Overall, it was a nice experience, but maybe next time I can get a press pass so I could have an even better experience. Running Spook Central does make me a member of the press, after all :-)

All 66 photos that Sony provided (taken by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures) can be viewed on the Spook Central facebook page. SPOOK CENTRAL VIPS can download the original files. All 13 of Sony's video files from the premiere can be watched in the playlist embedded below. Everyone can download the original MOV files from the Spook Central Internet Archive account, where you can also view/download all of the movie's trailers and TV spots. A couple of notes...

* B-Roll Part 1 - I am seen in my American flag mask (on the right) with the other fans at the tail end of the video.

* B-Roll Part 3 - The first part of this is (presumably) from the earlier screening, because that wasn't the theater that I was in. At 1:54 it cuts to the second screening, which is the one that I was a part of, but the pre-movie speech is in progress. Tom Rothman's opening comments are completely gone, as are the comments from the two Reitmans before they bring out the cast. At 3:20, it cuts back to the first screening.

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