BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you didn’t get to see Taylor Swift in concert this summer, it was a cruel summer, but her concert tour film is opening in theaters across North America today.
Following sneak previews Thursday, “The Eras Tour” officially opened Friday and Swifties have been excited the singer announced the premiere back in August.
This is not a motion picture to burn but a love story — merging Taylor Swift fandom and a box office boom. The fans are ready for it, and many local cinemas are holy ground for Western New York Swifties this weekend. It’s also a boon for the theaters in a fall season when blockbuster releases have been impacted by the Hollywood strikes.
“It’s a great way to get people into the theaters. I really like what they are doing and introducing a new format to cinema,” said Jordan Clement, general manager of the Transit Drive-In.
The drive-in left a blank space on all five screens Friday night and will host showings of the film for the next four weekends. Even though the drive-in season is almost over and the weather may be a bit on the chilly side, Clement hopes moviegoers will shake it off, bring a cardigan and come back…be here.
“It’s really unprecedented for something like this in October, especially at the drive-in,” Clement said. “I think we have a really great opportunity here to allow people to move around, and dance and be loud and have as much free space as they need.”
For Taylor fans, the level of fervor for the concert movie may be nothing new, but Clement says the excitement around it is something he’s never quite seen before. The drive-in had sold so many tickets ahead of time, Clement said ‘Look what you made me do’ and opened the gates early Friday. He’s just hoping there won’t be any midnight rain disrupting showings.
“I think it helps everybody,” Clement said of the excitement. “It gives consumers something to do on a Friday or Saturday night when maybe its a little bit cold out somewhere or they don’t have much to do elsewhere. It definitely revitalizes the movie theater industry as a whole.”
The drive-in is going all out for their Eras Tour festivities, with themed giveaways, a costume contest for the fan with the best Taylor-themed style and “The Eras Tour” cups on sale. Clement says when it comes to this film, everything has changed.
“Taylor Swift and this film is a cultural phenomenon. That’s kind of the term that’s being thrown around. We’ve never seen anything like it, so it’s intriguing to us and it’s special. It’s something that we are very excited for,” Clement said.
It’s not just the drive-in; the AMC in Amherst was one of several theatres bustling with Taylor fans who came out of the woods to see their idol on the big screen Friday. Long story short, theaters are expecting to be full all weekend long.
Editor’s note: You may know Taylor Swift’s discography all too well, but did you spot all of the song titles we referenced in this story? Watch all three versions below and see how many you can count.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.