Fans begin queue for 20,000 ticket demand.
But if you want the longest queue in history, head for Hollywood. They've started one that is out of this world.
Star Wars freaks are now taking their places for seats at the movie's first screening in Los Angeles.
More than 250 have staked claims to a piece of sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. And the premiere is still FIVE WEEKS away.
They call themselves Phantom-philes - the latest Star Wars adventure is titled Phantom Menace - and theirs will be one of the most organised queues ever.
They've set up websites, plugged in TVs and sound systems, organised food and shelter and are raising money for charity. They're even planning their own rock concert.
Daniel Alter, a Californian with an English mother, claims he's first in line for a ticket. He says: "I'm pretty sure I was first - and other people agree. I've been a lifelong Star Wars fan and want to be first to see Phantom Menace."
Even though tickets will cost around pounds 300, with the money going to charity, the queue already snakes past a phone box on Hollywood Boulevard, near the famous 'Pink Panther' Mann's Chinese Theatre.
Its number is 00 1 323 462 9609 - and I dialed it!
"Hi, this is the Star Wars Count-down Line," said a cheery voice.
It belonged to 23-year-old Colvy Kirk, who's already been 'in the line' for over a week.
He told me: "It's cool here. We're all havin' a great time. The weather wasn't good to start, but it's getting hotter and we're expecting 80 degrees plus from here on in."
But are people really going to stay on the street for five weeks?
"Well, not everyone," Colvy admitted. "We've got a points system working - every hour you spend in line, you get a point. You also get extra points depending on how far you've travelled to join up."
So I would get extra points travelling from Scotland, then?
"Hey, lotsa points, man! We're expecting people from all over the world. A couple of Australians have just signed up and we've been told a whole planeload of Japanese are flying in."
Local stores are supplying food and drinks in exchange for the publicity. And a few celebrities have passed by to wish the Phantomphiles well.
As LA's morning rush-hour droned and honked in the background, Colvy added: "We reckon there will be 20,000 here come May 19.
"We'll supply a points list to the cinema nearer the premiere and they'll issue tickets.
"The theatre holds 1600 and is planning 10 shows a day. Everyone should get to see it within 40 hours or so."
And what's so special about this film?
Colvy explained: "It's been 16 years since the last one. We want to see what's inside director George Lucas' head."
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Apr 15, 1999|
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