Superman fans show up early to snag Plano premiere tickets
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org May 18, 2013 1:08PM
Kimber Dolan, who drove from Rockford to Plano be first in line for tickets to the Plano premiere of the film "Man of Steel," shows off her ticket on Saturday, May 18, 2013, which was signed by Dylan Sprayberry, who plays a young Clark Kent in the film. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:39PM
PLANO — Kimber Dolan’s tired eyes begin to sparkle and a smile creases her face.
As she fans four tickets to see “Man of Steel,” the new Superman movie opening next month, like a poker hand, she says the eight-hour wait after the drive from Rockford was worth it.
After all, for being first in line at the Plano Walmart Supercenter here Saturday morning, er, Friday night, one of her tickets has an autograph from Henry Cavill – Superman himself.
And she manages to get a live autograph from Dylan Sprayberry — also Superman himself, but as a boy, in the movie — who is mingling with fans, signing his signature, accepting plaques and pins and presenting artwork.
The early morning event in Plano is going on at other places in America, as Walmarts sell tickets to a special premiere of the movie, which takes place June 13, a day before the worldwide opening June 14. But unlike anywhere else, these are the only sales taking place in Superman’s earthly hometown, Smallville.
It is almost two years to the day that Warner Bros. began building Smallville into downtown Plano, remaking its face to star in the upcoming movie. As Sprayberry addresses a crowd in the Walmart parking lot, this is not lost on him.
“It’s most important being here in Plano,” he says. “This is Smallville. You are Smallville, now and forever.”
Sprayberry presents Plano Mayor Bob Hausler with a piece of artwork of Plano as Smallville. It will hang in the new Superman museum to open in August downtown. He also presents, encased in glass and ready to be the first museum display, the “command key.”
What is the command key? Sprayberry stops short of telling — you have to see the movie to find out.
Meanwhile, Dolan is front and center, snapping photos on her phone. Two years ago, she came to Plano from Rockford at least 14 times to watch the shooting of the movie. She met members of the cast, and got to know a lot of Plano people who also were watching, or even getting extra work in the movie.
“I met people who lived in the neighborhoods,” she says. “I got to know these people. I kept in touch. These are the people I want to see the movie with.”
Dolan is first in line for tickets for the 3D showing. For the regular 2D showing, one of the first in line is Jim Minteer, who had an even longer drive — 5½ hours from Prairie City, Iowa.
He also came out in August 2011 to watch filming.
“I got to meet Henry Cavill,” he says.
The event continues throughout the morning, a big day in a string of big days for Plano since it became ever etched in celluloid history as Smallville.
“It’s been a huge event for the city of Plano,” says Hausler.