“Are you ready for it?”: Swifties enter their ‘movie era’ at Broad Street theater

On Friday, Temple students and community members attended the opening night of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour at the local AMC Theatre on Broad Street.

A movie-goer holds up their "Eras" branded popcorn bucket at the movie's opening night on Friday. | SOFIA KASBO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Friday, Oct. 13 is typically a day of bad luck, but 13 is Taylor Swift’s lucky number and, for fans, it was their lucky evening. 

At AMC Theatres Broadstreet 7’s opening night of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, a feature film about Swift’s ongoing world tour, Swifties lived their Wildest Dreams as they sang, danced, laughed and even cried. 

For $19.89, a reference to Swift’s fifth studio album and upcoming re-recording, Temple students and community members attended screenings at the theater, located on Broad and Oxford Street, from 6 p.m. until the last start time at 11:15 p.m.

Swiftie energy radiated throughout the building, as it was filled with fans in sparkly jackets, dresses, Swift merchandise, friendship bracelets and Bejeweled hairstyles, preparing for 2 hours and 48 minutes of enchantment. 

Reese Gittleman, an attendee of the 9:30 p.m. screening, showed up to the movie in style.

“So my shirt, I actually got from a friend,” Gittleman said. “It says ‘Taylor Swift is my wife. I will never get a divorce.’ And then I did jewels in my hair like I did for the concert and friendship bracelets.” 

For fans who were unable to get tickets to The Eras Tour, the movie is a chance to experience a taste of the show for a significantly cheaper price. It’s also an opportunity for those who previously attended the concert to look back on a memorable night. 

Aubrey Choi, a friend of Gittleman, dressed up for the movie repping the album “Fearless” with a beige sundress and cowgirl hat. 

“I want to relive the concert,” Choi said.

The film began with a clock striking a 13-second countdown. After a fan initiated a vocal countdown, everyone in the audience followed along and squirmed in anticipation for Swift’s arrival to the screen, who made her entry to the song “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.” 

The film featured most of her setlist from the concert, which, in order, included songs from “Lover,” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Evermore,” “Reputation,” “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” “Red (Taylor’s Version),” “Folklore,” “1989,” an acoustic set with surprise songs and “Midnights.” 

Samantha Ammons shows off her Kelce/Swift shirt next to a poster at the theater during opening on night Oct 13. | SOFIA KASBO / THE TEMPLE NEWS| SOFIA KASBO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The audience experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. They were rowdy for “Reputation” and felt empowered during “Midnights.” As Swift transitioned into the “Fearless” era of the concert, she held up her iconic hand heart and the attendees reciprocated.

Many fans were shocked that Swift cut some of her songs on the setlist from the movie, including, “No Body, No Crime,” “Long Live,” “Wildest Dreams,” “The Archer” and “Cardigan.”  

Samantha Ammons, a sophomore communication studies major who dressed in a shirt adorned with images of Swift and her new love interest Travis Kelce for the 9:30 show, was disappointed about the change. 

“My comparison [to the live tour] is that she left out one of my favorite songs for the movie, ‘The Archer,’” Ammons said. “But I think in person is just so different because you’re there in real life. You’re breathing the same air as T-Swizzle.”  

Some screenings had rowdier crowds than others. In theater room 4, audience members wrapped glow sticks around their wrists like concert wristbands and danced as if they were at a real concert. 

“They’ve been really great,” said Sekou Malik, an AMC employee who worked opening night. “It’s been a constant flow, like Taylor Swift got a mad fan base, like insane here. They’re dressed a lot to go into the actual concert, so it’s pretty lit.” 

The building was busy, but there were still some empty seats — although they certainly didn’t take away from the high energy that filled the air. Still, Swifties generally maintained respectful behavior, as some speculated fan etiquette would be an issue. 

“There was like a lot of worried people who were like, ‘I don’t know if I want to come to the movie,’ because when you come to a movie, you want to watch a movie,” said Julia Walsh, a 2020 advertising alumna. “But I feel like people were really respectful of that and danced in the aisles and sang, at a normal tone instead of screaming like you’re at a concert.”

Fans followed traditions with specific songs, like the fast double clap during “You Belong With Me,” kneeling down for a proposal during “Love Story” and reciting Kendrick Lamar’s verse during “Bad Blood.” 

The movie ended just as the concert did, with Swift thanking her fans, dancers, band and vocalists. The curtain call left fans in the theater cheering in appreciation for the memorable performance. 

Swifties will certainly remember the movie experience, a journey filled with tears, laughter and endless smiles, forever etched in their hearts.

“It brings people together,” Walsh said. “There’s a lot going on in the world that you know, it’s definitely needed, and it brings a lot of like sense of community and love and respect and appreciation for one another.”

Rachel Behm in her outfit ready for “Eras” opening night Friday. | SOFIA KASBO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

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