November 17th, 2009
03:01 AM ET
On Monday night, I covered the Los Angeles premiere of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the Mann Village Theater near UCLA... and before arriving, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect: screaming fans, posters of a shirtless Taylor Lautner; homemade signs with Robert Pattinson's name in glitter; tight security; etc. But when my photojournalist Chris Audick and I arrived, we were still amazed. Thousands of dedicated "Twi-hards" flooded the streets of Westwood, and they would not stop screaming. Even hours before any of the cast members arrived, loud shrieks, reminiscent of those black and white films of Beatles performances, could be heard from pretty much anywhere.
I had heard reports from local media of adoring fans camping out DAYS before the actual premiere – not to get tickets for the movie, but instead to hopefully get a glimpse of "Bella," "Jacob," or even "Edward."
It turns out those reports were right.
"I love all of this," said Tria Simpson, who came all the way from Minneapolis, Minnesota and had camped out since Friday. "You just feel all the excitement... and the craziness in the air. I'm sucking it all up."
Simpson says she and her friends played "Twilight" trivia games to keep themselves busy while anticipating Monday's festivities.
Another woman from Paso Robles, California, says she made sure her kids were safely home from school last Friday, then hopped in the car for a four-hour drive to Los Angeles. She even got a front row position at the premiere, where she could show off a drawing her five-year-old daughter made of "Edward" and "Bella."
"I think it's a great love story, it's amazing, I think everybody wants it – I'm married and I try to incorporate it into my marriage," she said.
Witnessing all of this was exciting... but it was nothing new for me. After all, I did cover the "Twilight" premiere last fall. As it turns out, I wasn't alone.
Dawn Sirtack of Los Angeles, who was wearing a large button of a steely-eyed "Edward" on her chest, says she was also at last year's premiere, and could hardly control herself this time around.
"We've been out since about Thursday morning... and we've got the best seat in the house."
Check out iReport video of the pandemonium at the premiere.
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