Thursday, June 24, 1999 Published at 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Star Wars jobs bonanza
Many cinemas will open round-the-clock for the film's opening
British cinema chains are taking on extra staff to cope with the expected demand for Star Wars tickets when they go on sale next week.
Long queues are predicted as fans aim to be among the first to buy tickets in person when they are can be booked at just after midnight on 1 July.
Many cinemas are planning to open round-the-clock to cope with the rush to see the Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace.
Multiplexes believe the demand for tickets may outstrip the huge rush for seats to England's games at last year's World Cup finals in France when telephone lines were jammed.
The Odeon chain have announced that they are setting up a 24-hour hotline for advance booking.
The film is released in the UK at 0001 BST on 15 July with many cinemas hoping to screen it in the early hours to satisfy the fans.
When the blockbuster was released in America last month, many fans camped out for weeks to pick up advance tickets.
The Phantom Menace, which looks at the early years of characters who went on to become household names in the Star Wars trilogy, has already smashed previous box office records in the US and is expected to become the biggest selling movie of all time.
Star Wars mania has been gathering pace in Britain over the past few weeks.
An interactive roadshow exhibition, Power of Myth Experience, is currently in Manchester as part of a European tour.
It is devoted to the special effects-laden film, starring Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson.
Video games based on the movie are already topping the UK charts and scores of toy shops stayed open through the night last week when the 375 official Star Wars products went on sale.
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