No Hobbits in Limelight this Christmas

Canberra fans of The Hobbit won't be having a very merry Christmas as the midnight premiere of the long-awaited Lord of the Rings prequel has been cancelled.

Twenty-year-old Emily Campbell was worried she wouldn't have her costume, complete with a Lothlorien-inspired cloak, finished in time for next Tuesday night's midnight screening at Limelight Cinema. That is now the least of her problems since she learned the event won't be going ahead.

''Not only did I waste money buying tickets on a session that was cancelled, I also spent time and money making a costume and getting line parties organised,'' she said.

Ms Campbell only discovered the screening, which was advertised by the cinema when tickets were released for sale in November, was shut down when she made contact with staff to discuss what logistics were in place for the hordes of fans who had planned to line up to see the film after Christmas dinner.

''I feel fans are being treated very unfairly and I see no reason why we can't have a midnight session. I think there are hundreds of Hobbit fans in Canberra that are very disappointed with this decision.

''I was told [by Limelight staff] the distributor [Roadshow] didn't want any midnight screenings taking place anywhere and that my three tickets would be refunded.''

The student, who has been a long-time fan of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous novels, said she was looking forward to attending her first after-dark premiere in her home town.

''Fans like to party. I don't really care about the money. I just wanted to dress up, have fun and see The Hobbit. I've actually never been to a midnight sess and was pretty excited for my first one.''

A spokesman for Limelight Cinema said the screening, before it was cancelled on request of the distributor, was gearing up to be one of the best midnight sessions of 2012.

''We had sold more than 150 tickets and it was looking like it would have absolutely killed it, which is a pity because we had some great ones this year with James Bond and Twilight,'' general manager Chris Bellgard said.

The Hobbit is the first film in Peter Jackson's next trilogy, which will follow on from the box office and critical success of the Lord of the Rings franchise.

The Hobbit opens around Australia at 9am on December 26. Limelight Cinema's first showing is at 10am.

This story No Hobbits in Limelight this Christmas first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.