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Van Gogh-Goghs Camp Out for "Phantom Menace" Tickets

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Christian Science Monitor-Van Gogh-Gogh Press) June 1, 1999 --Since 6 p.m. yesterday, local sketch comedy group the Van Gogh-Goghs has camped out for tickets to the much anticipated movie, "Star Wars — Episode I: The Phantom Menace."

The movie, which opened March 19th, broke box-office records for opening-day revenues. However, once-scarce tickets are now plentiful as the movie opens in more theaters and poor word-of-mouth drives away moviegoers. That has not deterred the Van Gogh-Goghs, who have camped out in front of the Dollar Discount Multiplex Theater on Pico Blvd.

"We really want to see this movie! And we really only want to pay a dollar each to do so," group spokesman Alan Benson said.

Group member Rob Terrell, a longtime science fiction fan, added that "to be the first ones to see this movie in a discount movie theater — well, it's like being a part of history."

Group spaz T. Mike Childs had his own reasons for wanting to see the movie. "I only paid two bucks to see the first...fourth, whatever the hell the one that didn't have no stinkin' muppets in it was called, and ain't no way I'm paying more now."

Since lining up outside the theater, the Van Gogh-Goghs have spent their time attempting to guess at the plot of the film, having valiantly avoided all reviews, commercials, trailers, articles, books, trips to fast food restaurants, and discussions with friends about the movie.

"Since this movie takes place before the others, I'm hoping we'll get to see Spock and Kirk's days at the academy," Benson said.

"You dummy! It shows how Dr. Who stole the tardis and why he's on the lam from his fellow Time Lords!" Terrell countered.

"I thought it explained how ALF crashed into the Tanners' garage," Childs added.

According to several Van Gogh-Goghs, the group is in this for the long haul. They have pitched a small tent near the side of the theater and purchased an army surplus chemical toilet.

"I've got just tons of really dull books, macrame projects, taffy, 1,000-piece puzzles — it'll be a blast," Benson said. After Benson's statement, fellow group member Charles Rempel implored this reporter: "kill me."

"We're hoping that the bad reviews will bring it here sooner and end our long national nightmare," said Van Gogh-Gogh Galen Black, who is widely known as "the reluctant one." "Oh, and never say OK to Alan before you hear the end of his plan."

Film-waiting experts applaud the group's willingness to wait. "The Phantom Menace" is not expected to go to second-run theaters until Spring 2000 at the earliest.

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