DIEHARD Star Wars fans threatened to riot after a midnight screening of the new blockbuster froze halfway through.
Devotees of the science fiction franchise stayed up past midnight to see the latest film at the earliest possible opportunity on Thursday.
Many of the fans dressed as their favourite characters, bringing their families along for the once-in-a-lifetime midnight screening – hosted at the Perth Playhouse Imax.
Fanatics were excitedly tweeting in anticipation right up until the moment the lights went down in the cinema last night.
But the movie froze just an hour into the screening – and fans were forced to leave the cinema without witnessing the conclusion of the year’s most anticipated film.
It has been ten years since the last Star Wars film hit the big screens, and fans around the world have been counting down the hours to the release of the latest outing – which has received rave reviews.
Perth fans caught up in the hype decided to attend the midnight screening of the movie early on Thursday morning, after a night of quizzes and fancy dress devoted to the series.
But they were forced to abandon the screening halfway through after a technical hitch.
Kevin Anderson from Inchture described the moment the experience was ruined.
He said: “Around the one hour mark the sound went funny and then the screen froze.
“After 10 minutes someone came in and told us they were trying to fix it. He came back in 30 minutes later telling us they were giving it one last go. Twenty minutes later — match abandoned!”
“They said there was a power outage, but I’m not convinced. I don’t even think there was a projectionist in the cinema. Absolute shambles.”
Fans were quick to take to social media to berate the cinema for their mistake.
Ian Fraser – from Perth – tweeted at the playhouse at 1:40am, saying: “Dear Perth Playhouse, I suggest you fix the movie quickly or else you might have a riot on your hands.”
Andy Kay tweeted: “Left gutted this morning by Perth Playhouse – so disappointed. Let’s hope they do right by all the film goers who attended at silly o clock!”
Another user tweeted at 2:30am: “Projector broke half-way through the midnight screening of The Force Awakens at Perth Playhouse. Genuinely devastated.”
A spokesman for the cinema said: “We can clarify today that the source of the issue was a failure of the power source to the IMAX projector.
“Despite emergency efforts from both the in house teams and IMAX remote support, we were unable to restore power and had to take the difficult decision to cancel the screening.
“We understand completely the deep disappoint our customers faced, given the levels of anticipation for this special event, and we are thankful to the audience in attendance for their understanding.
“We will of course ensure all reservations made with credit/debit card are refunded directly back to
customers, and guests who paid with cash are encouraged to visit the cinema for a cash refund.”