‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ hits theaters: Tips for opening weekend

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CLEVELAND– “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in theaters Thursday, and super fans are snatching up tickets and planning their outfits.

The new movie is the first in a sequel trilogy and is set about 30 years after “Return of the Jedi.” It features familiar faces like Harrison Ford as  Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Leia, and introduces the new enemy Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for the Dec. 17 release:

Buy tickets soon

Tickets for opening weekend are still available. For advance tickets, go to Cinemark, Regal EntertainmentAMC Theatres or Cleveland Cinemas websites.

Get there early

While more theaters are offering reserved seating, you still want to get there early to find your spot and grab a drink. According to AMC, auditoriums will open at least one hour before the 7 p.m. showtime on opening night. Theater staff will have lines set up for those who arrive early for other showings.

Don’t bring your mask

If you’re getting decked out in your favorite gear, leave your Stormtropper helmet at home. Many theaters, including AMC Ridge Park Square and AMC Westwood Town Center, do not allow masks, face paint or items that distract other moviegoers. Lightsabers may be permitted, but turn them off during the show.

Plan your restroom break

If you don’t want to miss a minute of epic starship battles or amazing lightsaber fights, download the RunPee app. It gives you a list of moments in the movie when you’re safe to take a break, and run to the restroom or get a popcorn refill. The app also tells you if you should stick around after the credits.