May 28, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Meeting Hollywood Celebrities in New York

Have you ever wanted to attend a Hollywood premiere and see your favorite celebrities walk down the red carpet? It happens that right next to Teaneck is the most populated city in the U.S., New York City. Due to its incredible size and diversity, many famous films and television shows are based in New York. As such, after sunny Los Angeles, NYC is the next most popular destination for movie debuts. Oftentimes those opening nights happen at AMC Lincoln Square, located on Broadway and 68th Street. I have been to two so far, and I am going to share my story as well as some tips on how you could attend one, too.

One of the best ways to find out the latest on movies (and for that matter, pretty much everything else, too) is through Twitter. I follow the CEO of AMC, Adam Aron, on Twitter because he often shares firsthand information on early-release screenings, giveaways for going to a specific movie such as free soda, popcorn, movie poster, or recently NFTs (non-fungible tokens). On December 14, 2021, he posted that he was going to come to a special early screening of the upcoming film “The King’s Man.” I immediately called a few friends and we all got tickets to the showing.

My friends and I got there early, at the same time as some other big Adam Aron fans. One fan was wearing a full dress suit with a gorilla mask, which is a common meme design on Reddit. The theater’s doorway was designed to look like a Japanese gate with a red arch and golden sea serpent-type creatures alongside each doorpost. We were allowed to take cups for unlimited free drinks from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.

After a few minutes, the CEO of AMC, escorted by a team of security staff, arrived and walked by us. Everyone erupted into applause as the CEO headed into the theater. A crew member then informed us that we could enter and take our seats. Inside, a line was immediately formed to meet Adam. Adam cheerfully talked to each guest for a few minutes and took pictures with them upon request. My friends and I were close to the front since we got there early, but I saw behind us that the line to meet him was already out the theater door.

When it was our turn to talk with him, I was nervous because I knew how important he is, but I mentally pep-talked myself to act confident. I said hello to Adam and thanked him for organizing the event, asked him if he could autograph my poster of him, and then asked my friend to take a picture of me with him. Adam was very friendly and even asked me what my name was and where I was from. I then pitched him a quick idea of an AMC passport that bookmarks each AMC theater you visit and offers rewards for the more locations you visit. I then asked if he could follow me on Twitter, and he took a picture of my Twitter handle (@zacharygreenbe4). But he still has not yet followed me, so Adam if you are reading this—please subscribe!

For the next 30 minutes, Adam met with more attendees waiting in line. He then went up to the front of the theater, and a spotlight was shone on him. He gave a 10-minute heartfelt speech, talking about the history of AMC up until the recent challenges of COVID, including how the company nearly went bankrupt. He was so appreciative of how now people are back having fun at the theaters and the company is doing well again. The crowd erupted into applause and once everyone settled down, “The King’s Man” began.

Truthfully, I did not originally care at all about seeing “The King’s Man.” I just wanted to meet Adam. It was the third installment in the “Kingsman” franchise, and I had not seen the previous films. Still, I was enjoying the movie with my friends, until a few rowdy people entered the theater and sat in the row in front of us. One of them threw up, and I went to get security who then escorted them out of the theater.

While I was doing that, my friend Jared Benjamin asked a crew member if we could switch seats. The member told us that we could move and sit wherever we liked. We noticed that a few rows behind us, Adam Aron was sitting alone, probably because he had bought up the entire row. We asked the member if we could sit there and he told us that we could. My friends all went to the row, leaving me the seat right next to the CEO himself! So I got to watch the rest of the film next to the CEO of AMC, which was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Another premiere I went to occurred a few weeks later on February 10, 2022. I got a Facebook notification the day before the event that Liam Neeson, the lead actor for the upcoming movie “Blacklight,” would be attending the premiere in AMC Lincoln Square. I once again rounded up a few friends. We purchased tickets and got there early, attempting to meet him. Unfortunately, Liam did not show up early, arriving through a secret entrance just before the flick began. He gave a one-minute speech introducing the theme of the movie and explained how it was filmed in Australia. He concluded with a few jokes about how kangaroos ruined some of the shots and how this was his first musical (but really it was an action movie with no songs). He then left, so we did not get to meet him, but since I was sitting in the front row, I did take a selfie while he was speaking!

One of my role models for finding these cool events is my friend Aaron Wruble, who hails from Memphis. Aaron has attended numerous premieres including “The Batman,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” “The Adam Project” and “Hawkeye.” He has seen actors up-close, such as Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne, “The Batman”), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts”), Mark Ruffalo (Louis Reed, “The Adam Project”), and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton, “Hawkeye”).

Aaron shared with me that his most efficient way of finding out when famous actors will be in New York is through the website 1iota.com. The website lists all events that are open to the public in which celebrities will attend, such as studio audience TV shows, fan experiences, live music and movie openings. Last Thursday, May 12, Jennifer Lopez was in New York for the first showing of her latest feature, “Shotgun Wedding.” Additionally, this Sunday the movie “Downton Abbey: A New Era” will have a red-carpet event in New York, too.

If you are interested in going to these incredible events, I highly recommend bookmarking www.1iota.com and keeping an eye on upcoming events near you. Additionally, follow AMC Theaters as well as your favorite celebrities on Twitter. Maybe you’ll catch one of them posting that they will be in New York, and you will get the chance to meet them.

With the above in mind, I hope to see you at the next show amongst the stars.


Zachary Greenberg is a health and benefits consultant analyst at Mercer, as well as the TABC track coach. The full speeches of both CEO of AMC Adam Aron at “The Kings Man” premiere and of actor Liam Neeson at the “Blacklight’’ premiere can be found on his YouTube channel (just search Zachary Greenberg Mickey). Zachary recently saw “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” while dressed up in a Doctor Strange costume at AMC Ridgefield. In fact, the costume was so good that a random kid asked to take a picture with him.

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