Where to see the Star Wars movie in York – and do some real stargazing

Back on the bridge – Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photographs: Lucasfilm 2015
11 Dec 2015 @ 10.37 am
| Entertainment

It’s the most anticipated movie of the year, and it’ll be here in less than 12 parsecs.

Yes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens crash lands on our little part of the planet on Thursday, December 17.

Dave Taylor, marketing manager of City Screen on Coney Street, said there was a swell of excitement about the new film.

City Screen is launching Star Wars: The Force Awakens from one minute past midnight on the opening Thursday, and the 3D screening that night is already sold out.

There are a few tickets left for early birds to catch it in 2D however.

Chewie reacts badly to news that the early bird showing is sold out. Photograph: City Screen York
Chewie reacts badly to news that the early bird showing is sold out. Photograph: City Screen York

Meanwhile, for those who like to combine their science fiction with science fact, there’s a free stargazing event in the centre of York next week.

There are two ways to find out more. One is to use the Force, Luke.

And the other is to read on…

The new Star Wars

Cert 12A, 135 mins

Vue York, Reel, City Screen

From Thurs Dec 17

Movie website

Set about 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, the new film brings together some of the characters from the classic first trilogy with a whole fleet of new space junkies.

Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 and Chewbacca all return, played by original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew.

And we get to meet the likes of Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku; Finn (John Boyega), a redeemed stormtrooper; and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), a lightsabre-rattling anti-hero who would give Darth Vader a run for his villainous money

The movie is in the hands of director and co-writer J J Abrams, who brilliantly reinvigorated Star Trek.

So sci-fi fans everywhere have a new hope that this will be a return to form for the franchise that changed the universe.

Where to see it first

Small dry white wine please… a Stormtrooper in the City Screen bar
Small dry white wine please… a Stormtrooper in the City Screen bar

Unless you have tickets to the London premiere your first chance to see it is early on release day, Thursday, December 17.

And we mean early: at 00:01, or one minute past midnight, to be precise.

City Screen
The 00:01 first-look 3D showing has already sold out at the Coney Street Picturehouse, but tickets remain for the 2D version.

And there will be a party atmosphere, says City Screen’s Dave Taylor…

Staff will be dressing up and I’m sure customers will be too.

We’ve had Dr Sketchy’s drawing characters from the film at their Anti-Artschool, and some of the art will be showing in the Riverside Bar.

Vue York
Over in Clifton Moor, Vue York has ten screens opening at 00:01, seven showing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2D, and three in 3D.

Reel York
Over at Odeon Buildings on Blossom Street, you’ll have to wait until 00:05 for their early bird screening.

Wait for it…

If you are happy to watch it at a normal time, you should easily be able to find tickets.

City Screen
Between three and five screenings in 2D daily, through till at least December 31. Plus three or four 3D screenings up till December 23, with one showing on Christmas Eve.

Vue York
On opening day, not including the midnight showings, Vue York is showing Star Wars: The Force Awakens 36 times in both 2D and 3D.

That drops to 27 times daily until Monday, December 21 when it changes to 16 daily showings with more at the weekends.

Reel York
It has three showings a day until December 23, one on Christmas Eve and between two and six showings up till New Year’s Eve.

More Star Wars fun

City Screen is staging some Star Wars extras.

The Basement Bar is hoping to stage a Prop Art sale this weekend (December 12 and 13)… but this will depend on the River Ouse subsiding.

During the weekend of December 19-20, the Basement will host the Minifigs and Bricks Lego speed-building competition, with Star Wars Lego displays.

And the Kids’ Club screening on the morning of Saturday, December 19 will have a Star Wars theme with some great merchandise for kids to win.

See some real stars

The telescope inside York Observatory. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The telescope inside York Observatory. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Free stargazing event

York Observatory, Museum Gardens

Mon Dec 14 @ 6pm-8pm


York Museums Trust website

If all this talk of galaxies “far, far away” has piqued your interest in outer space, you’re in luck.

York Museums’ Trust has arranged a free stargazing night on Monday (December 14). That’s the day before astronaut Tim Peake becomes the first Briton to serve a mission on the International Space Station.

You can gaze at the night sky through the historic 1850s telescope at York Observatory.

Fiona Burton, volunteers manager at York Museums Trust, said:

Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for people to look for the spectacular sites of the night sky in oldest working observatory in York, but we will also have experts on hand with specimens from the museum collections and some fascinating activities too.