Attending the Shang Chi World Premiere
This Monday, August 16, I had the honor of attending one of the most momentous and historical world premieres for Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!
I honestly couldn't believe my luck that I would get to be one of the first people to watch this movie on the big screen, two weeks before it makes its theatrical premiere on September 3rd (mark your calendars!)
Getting to the event
Downtown Los Angeles can be a rough place to drive through, but I have an awesome partner who was willing to drop me off and wait for me! Through email correspondence, my Disney contact also provided a recommended parking structure to use that would be close enough to the event location. The entire block of Highland and Hollywood in DTLA was closed off for both the red carpet and the Covid rapid testing site that everyone was required to get tested out before entering the event.
The fan check-in area was located right near the entrance to the El Capitan Theatre where we would first pass through a security check and then get our Covid test. I was in line with sooo many cosplayers, it was awesome to see them all dressed up as different Marvel heroes, but I also felt slightly out of place as a Disneybounder who came as a "red carpet" Shang Chi. It's all good though, I was paying tribute to this movie in my own way! It was also extremely hot, I can't imagine how they must have felt in their full on costumes!
The check-in took a pretty long time because they were metering the amount of people to get tested at once since there's a waiting period for the test. After almost an hour in line, I was finally through security and got immediately checked in and swabbed! Then it was time to wait for the test results, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time? As soon as the staff received the results, they called out people's names and gave them their wristbands so that they could get their guest pass and be escorted to the red carpet. My results were taking a while, so I was a bit nervous, but I eventually got the call and received my bright pink golden ticket!
They waited for a group of people to assemble before escorting us to the fan area of the red carpet. We passed by the press area and also all the cool Shang Chi relics that were displayed on the red carpet, and our escort was nice enough to walk SUPER SLOWLY so that we all had time to take as many pictures as we wanted!
The Red Carpet
It was sooo cool to see all the celebrities enter the red carpet and be able to cheer them on! I was positioned in an area though where few celebrities walked by so it was a lot harder to get their attention, but it was still super cool to see them!
It was almost an ineffable experience to see so many Asian faces walking the red carpet and to be able to cheer so loudly and excitedly for them all! I even saw some other people who I'm a huge fan of like AsianBossGirl, WongFu, and Blogilates!
Of all the people I had the opportunity to get pictures with, I'm beyond thrilled that I got a picture with our two Asian Marvel superheroes, Benedict Wong, and Simu Liu!! They were so kind and it was just the best thing, I'm still speechless!
Awkwafina was the last to arrive on the red carpet, and I really wanted to meet her and get a picture with her too, but we didn't get an opportunity. It was still great to see her and cheer for her though!
And the best part, as we were being escorted off the red carpet, I actually ended up walking by Cassey from Blogilates! She was actually one of the people I was most excited to see and was hoping I would meet, and I was so sad when I saw her from afar on the red carpet but didn't get a chance to meet her. BUT THERE SHE WAS! And I was so excited that I put aside my shyness and usual awkwardness to introduce myself to her and let her know how much I loved Blogilates! And such a major thank you to her husband Sam for taking a picture of us for me! Definitely one of the highlights of the night!
Okay, this is also one of the best parts (well, let's be real, basically everything was awesome!) Viewers were split between the El Capitan Theatre and the TCL Chinese Theatre, determined by our guest passes. My pass had me at the TCL Chinese Theatre, so I was redirected there. It was a bit hard to find the entrance to it, and I did have to worm my way through crowds of other people since the route to the Chinese Theatre was outside of the fenced off area. I finally found my way to the courtyard entrance where I turned off my phone and put it in one of their magnetically locked pouches so that I would not be able to access it for the duration of the movie.
I entered the Chinese Theatre where they offered free popcorn and drinks as concessions, then found my way to my seat. The theatre was so immaculate and beautiful, I'm honestly so sad that I couldn't take any pictures of it (though that's kind of the point) I enjoyed my popcorn and waited for the film to start, which happened shortly after 7:30PM.
The film was...amazing. No spoilers of course, but I will say that I absolutely loved it. From the fluid transition of languages between Chinese and English in conversations and the removal of shoes before entering the house to the Asian pop culture easter eggs (I see you, Kung Fu Hustle poster) it was so cool to see aspects of life that I find familiar on the big screen in a way that just feels so natural. Not to mention the fight scenes are GREAT. That's all for now, maybe I'll have more to say after the movie makes it's premiere to the public! ;)
Ending the Night
After the final film credits passed (and the *after-credits scene*) we filed out of the theatre and back out into the courtyard where we were met with some awesome Shang Chi goodie bags and some red bean buns courtesy of 85C bakery! I finally got access to my phone again (it was like missing an appendage!) got myself a goodie bag and a treat, took some final pictures, and headed home for the night!
The swag bags came with a Shang Chi Pop! Figure (how cool!), a Geico plushies (because sponsors), and a lychee flavored Shang Chi sparkling water! I love that I have a new figure to add to my collection, and the sparkling water is so so cool!
This event was so cool and just felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could never forget. Seeing all that Asian excellence on the big (huge!) screen and seeing all these amazing actors and creatives receiving so much love was absolutely game-changing.
I'm so excited for the rest of the world to see Shang Chi when it comes out in theaters on September 3, and Disney+ on October 18 (45 days after the theatrical premiere!). I hope you all love it as much as I do!
* I was able to attend this event through winning a giveaway from Asian American Girl Club which was hosted through Instagram. If you haven't heard of them, be sure to check out their page here!