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Experiencing the Pete’s Dragon Premiere

By Jennifer Terek

August 12, 2016

Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles back to Pennsylvania, I can now reflect back the amazing experience that took place on August 8, 2016. Pete’s Dragon is a reimagining of the classic 1977 Disney film of the same name. It’s the simple story of orphan boy in search of family and a place of belonging. Oh, and there is a dragon.

The film is released to the public on August 12th, but I was lucky enough to attend the world premiere at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood! I’ve never been to a movie premiere before so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was very excited! First a little about me, I run The Bryce Dallas Howard Network, which is the internet’s largest source for all things Bryce. We offer the latest news, photos, videos, interactive social media networks, and so much more. Last year around this time, Bryce attended Disney’s notable D23 summit to speak about the film. I specifically remember covering this event and every step of the Pete’s Dragon process from filming to early promotion to full blown promotion. As with all of Bryce’s projects, I’ve followed this film since the beginning. So as you can see, having the chance to attend the movie premiere was something VERY special to me. Ok, now into the good stuff! I took my friend Ashli (and fellow Bryce fan) as my guest and we got to the carpet area around 3:00 p.m. We were a little early (you couldn’t pick up your will call tickets until 5:30 p.m.), but we wanted to explore a little bit. We watched as they set up the green carpet area surrounded by walls of plastic leaves and other greenery.
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At 5:30 p.m. we’re ushered through security and receive our guest badges.

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Instead of heading down the carpet, we chose to head to the pre-party first which was in the historic Roosevelt Hotel. The theater is less than a block from the hotel and the green carpet was connecting them to each other, so it was an easy walk back and forth. We head into the Roosevelt lobby and there is green everywhere! When you first enter the hotel, you go into this giant hallway with a ballroom style room on either side. The rooms themselves were low lit, but all the columns had green lights extending from them. As soon as you enter the hallway the greeter tells you exactly what the party has to offer. Each corner of each room had a buffet of hot and cold food set out. Every kind of food you could imagine could be found somewhere within the party. The event also featured many activities such as a virtual reality experience, a 360 dragon experience, a chance to get your photo with Elliot (the dragon) with green screen, face painting, a table for making friendship bracelets, 2 full bars and lots of elegant seating. We wanted to do anything and everything all at once!

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We decided to do the green screen photo first and they came out perfectly!

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While walking to the next activity, we noticed Wes Bentley arrived and was walking in our direction. I stopped to let him pass and he said “hi how are you?” and I replied with “great, how are you?”. Yes. I had a conversation with Wes Bentley. I know right!? Oh I should mention that the pre-party was scheduled for 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with the movie beginning at 7:00 p.m. We had a special meeting Bryce set up before she went to the carpet. The Roosevelt lobby emptied into the start of the carpet, so we were to meet Bryce there before she walked the carpet. While waiting in the lobby for Bryce we saw director David Lowery talking to a few people less than 10 feet from us for a good 20 minutes. We also saw Oakes Fegley (who plays Pete) walking in and out of the party. Finally Bryce arrived for our meeting. We hugged, talked a little, and took photos before she was rushed to the carpet. She was running very late. Apparently her skirt got sent to the wrong hotel or she had to send away for a new one… or something of that nature. It was 6:30 p.m. and Bryce hadn’t arrived on the carpet yet! Yikes.
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After our meeting, we then went to the bracelet making table and played around with the beads putting together something that screams Pete’s Dragon.

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It was now nearing 7:00 p.m. and the movie was going to start soon so we made our way out of the lobby and onto the green carpet at El Capitan Theatre.
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The setup had the press line facing us and the talent facing the press with their back to us as we walked behind them. As we walked along we briefly stopped to take photos in front of the various posters.

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We came across Bryce who was making her way down the press line. As we were strolling Bret Dalton (Agents of Shield) came by us and Ashli chatted with him for a bit. By now they were starting to nudge us into the theater, so we made our way in.

We grabbed our bucket of popcorn, a bottle of water, and headed to our seats. We were row CC, 3rd row from the front of the balcony. Not too bad! Upon entering the theater they had a guy playing Disney music on a really cool looking organ(?). It was great.

The movie itself was a BEAUTIFUL film. It featured the most gorgeous shots of the New Zealand countryside and captured the overwhelming size of the dense redwood forests. You felt like you were there. Just a beautifully shot film. I won’t go into any further detail than that. Make sure to go experience the movie for yourself on August 12! After the movie ended, we got a photo on the large Elliot photo op they had set out. We missed doing this earlier due to the pre-party.
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While hanging around outside the theater we saw Wes Bentley again, Matthew Lillard was there, and both Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence came out to sign and take photos.   Overall it was a VERY cool experience which I would absolutely love to do again!

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