Richard Barnett of Panorama City arrived at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to await the Wednesday noon takeoff of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
Other Trekkies began booking seats even earlier.
Advance tickets, available for a month through Ticketmaster, did very well. "When the ticket window opened Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. there were only 50 tickets available for the noon show," reported John Sittig, district manager for Pacific Theaters, which runs the Cinerama Dome. "The 7:50 p.m. show has been sold out since last Saturday."
By the time Barnett got home, late Wednesday night, he'd spent 40 hours at the Cinerama Dome--most of them line and three hours, 56 minutes catching two screenings. He laughed. "I keep breaking my own record! I waited in line 29 1/2 hours for the last film ("Star Trek III: The Search for Spock")!"
While Barnett wasn't in Trek uniform, at least a dozen loyalists donned regulation Star Fleet outfits, parading amid the swirling laser lights beamed on the Dome from across Sunset Boulevard.
Fans Jeff Sorg and Cindy Heaberlin, attired in "Star Trek" standard maroon and black, came from Lancaster "because the audience is here. We knew all the other 'Star Trek' fans would be here--and we'd make new friends."
They didn't anticipate seeing one of "Star Trek's" biggest fans. Leonard Nimoy, who plays the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, beamed in and out of the 7:50 p.m. show with nary a ripple from the audience.
Nimoy, who directed "Star Trek IV," sat with his family in the middle of the theater to get the full audience reaction. Logically enough, he was surrounded by cheers and laughs at all the expected spots, including every raise of his Vulcan eyebrow.
Afterward, looking exhausted but cheerful, his characteristic Vulcan sang-froid broke into a grin as big as the Cinerama screen. "The audience was just wonderful!" he said over the roars of the audience cheering the credits. "It was better than I had hoped for!"
Longtime "Star Trek" fan George Ruth will make him even more cheerful. Would he see the film again? "Oh yeah, but not until tomorrow, at least."
And in a couple of years, they can all start to line up again.
Word from Paramount late Wednesday was that William Shatner will be at the helm of "Star Trek V"--as director and Capt. James T. Kirk.