By Paige Dickerson
and Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
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The phenomenon that mixes teen romance with vampire fascination -- coincidentally set on the West End of the North Olympic Peninsula with a few Port Angeles locales sprinkled in -- hits full stride.
Forks, with tours, souvenirs and now a store devoted to Twilight paraphernalia, has been enjoyed a bump in tourism by fans who want to see the real-life high school, town, beach and other sites that play in the lives of Bella, Edward and the other characters of Twilight-turned-"Twilight" the movie.
Now Port Angeles, where Bella and Edward dated, enjoyed Italian food and watched the cinema, is rolling out the red carpet for "Twilight."
For fans who want to be the first to see "Twilight" the movie on the Twilight turf (there are no showings in Forks), tickets will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lincoln Theater, 132 E. First St., for two just-after-midnight screenings, at 12:01 a.m. and 12:15 a.m. Friday.
The red carpet will not be rolled out until later Friday morning, long before the afternoon and evening showings -- on two screens at the historic Lincoln -- begin at 4:50 p.m., said Barb Frederick, executive director of the Port Angeles Downtown Association, who is coordinating the "Twilight"-mania in Port Angeles.
Before then, the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain at the south end of Laurel Street will become Twilight central for fans, with a myriad activities for the faithful.
The red carpet will lead from Bella Italia, 118 E. First St., to the Lincoln Theater, a few doors down.
Both are considered to be sites described in Stephanie Meyer's four-novel series about a love affair between a mortal and a vampire, both students at Forks High School.
Neither location is named in Meyer's books (and, by the way, none of the movie was filmed on the North Olympic Peninsula).
Bella Italia is considered to be the Italian restaurant where Bella Swan and her vampire beau, Edward Cullen, go on their first date.
It received the official stamp of authenticity, so to speak, from the author herself, when she dined at the restaurant earlier this year.
Bella Italia will feature the mushroom ravioli that Bella and Edward eat on their first date -- beginning Friday and continuing through the end of the year, said owner Neil Conklin.
"We're also featuring vampire wine and special Twilight cupcakes," he added.
The restaurant plans to give away a "Twilight" movie poster every day, beginning Friday, through the end of the year.
(An exclusive USA Weekend poster appears with today's editions of the Peninsula Daily News.)
And on Thursday night, when fans gather for the midnight screening, the restaurant may do something special for the crowd.
"I'm thinking we might do something during the midnight opening," Conklin said.
"I'm thinking we might give away samples of our ravioli, or something like that."
The downtown cinema is unofficially known as the theater where Bella goes on a date with Mike Newton and later hangs out with classmate Jessica Stanley.
John Harsh, spokesman for Sun Basin Theaters, which owns the Lincoln Theater, said he has no idea how many fans of the movie to expect, but that the inquiries have been rolling in.
"Oh yeah, we have had calls from everywhere -- Texas, Tennessee, you name it," he said.
Tickets for the Friday showings that begin at 4:40 p.m. will go on sale when the box office opens about 4:30 p.m., Harsh said.
And downtown Port Angeles is ready to welcome the droves, Frederick said.
A Bella and Edward look-alike contest, a 35-store scavenger hunt, scrapbook workshops for immortalizing those "Twilight" memories, two Gothic fashion shows, a variety of games, and a special "Twilight Tea" are among the activities scheduled on Friday and Saturday.
Stores throughout the downtown will offer specials in the Twilight theme.
Fun until twilight
The Dyar Memorial Fountain will be Twilight central for fans, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday, and continuing each day until dark -- or twilight.
If it rains, events will be in covered tents, Frederick said.
Fans can have their photographs taken with cardboard cutouts of Bella and Edward -- courtesy of the Cottage Queen, 119 W. First St. -- enter the look-alike contest and get posters, maps and forms for a scavenger hunt for answers to Twilight trivia.
The hunt will lead fans to 35 downtown stores, including Gottschalks -- considered to be the department store mentioned in Meyer's novels -- for answers to questions about the world of Twilight.
Participating stores will display an apple -- a symbol of Bella as her vampire love's "forbidden fruit" -- in the window, said Twilight fan Tessa Jackson of My Favorite Memory Scrapbook Boutique at 110 N. Laurel St., who is organizing several of the events.
Completed scavenger hunt forms can be turned in for a drawing.
The winner will receive a gift basket of Twilight memorabilia available only from the movie's production company, Summit Entertainment, Jackson said.
Gifts also will be presented to the winners of the Bella and Edward look-alike contest.
Photographs of look-alikes will be taken at the fountain and displayed there,
Fans will vote for the best, Jackson said, with the winner announced after the Gothic Fashion Show at the fountain at 4 p.m. Saturday, she said.
Tea and fashion
The 4 p.m. fashion show at the fountain will be a repeat of one planned for 2 p.m. at the Elks Naval Lodge at 1313 E. First St.
The curated Gothic Fashion Show will have at least 25 models displaying clothing from the shops Twisted, Alley Cat and Black Diamond Bridal, as well as original designs, some made for the event, said Richard Stephens, who serves on the promotions committee for the downtown association and who will be master of ceremonies for the show.
"I think I'm going to wear my burgundy python print zoot suit," he said.
Runway hairstyling will be by Steppin' Out Salon in downtown Port Angeles.
The show will follow the Twilight Tea, a traditional high tea, at the Elks Lodge at 1 p.m.
Tickets for Twilight Tea and fashion show at the Elks Lodge will be $17.50 in advance, $25 at the door. Seating is limited.
For information, phone 360-457-3355.
Workshops for creating scrapbooks will be at 7 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, either at My Favorite Memory or at the Laurel Street fountain, Jackson said.
Tickets for the midnight showings -- and other nighttime screenings -- will be $9.50 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6.50 for children, said Lance Szydlek, manager of the Lincoln Theater.
Daily showings of the film will be at 4:50 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.
In addition, the film will show at 9:40 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, while Saturday and Sunday will also offer screenings at 12:45 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. and 3:05 p.m.
Harsh expects the film to show at least through Christmas.
Specials and stocks of Twilight memorabilia are planned in stores throughout the downtown.
Some examples are free tickets for Noelle Fuller's custom-made fangs at Twisted, at 108 E. First St.; the Cottage Queen at 119 W. First St., which will have demonstrations of spraying hair color and glitter, said owner Marilyn Lamb; the Matay Lunch and Lattes, 113 W. First St., which plans a special Twilight drink and sandwich; and My Favorite Memory, which has stocked up on Twilight stuff.
Both Port Book and News bookstore at 104 E. First St. and the Odyssey Bookshop, 114 W. Front St., will offer Twilight goods, with Odyssey promising to be be "twilighting it up."
Those are only examples: Stores throughout town will have specials.
Forks looks on
What about Forks, ground zero for vampire fascination?
Nothing special is planned for next weekend, according to Marcia Bingham, executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce.
The town -- which has no movie theater -- attempted to get a print of the move for the national release date, but was unable to do so, she said.
"We're hoping to get it to show in Forks, perhaps at the high school, at some point," she said.
"We don't have a date for it [yet]."
The Chamber of Commerce's Twilight tours are booked, but stores offer Twilight goods, and visitors can always get a map for a self-guided tour at the chamber office, 1411 S. Forks Ave.
The map has all the places mentioned in the Twilight books, as well as stores that sell memorabilia and restaurants with food in the Twilight theme, she said.
The chamber office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Beginning next Sunday, the office will be open also on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Port Townsend in the act
"Twilight," the movie, will be showing at the Rose Theater in Port Townsend, but not on Friday.
"I want to play it," said owner Rocky Friedman on Friday.
"I saw it. I loved it. I don't have a date for it yet.
"It's a matter of when I have a space for it.
"I've had a lot of requests for the movie."
"Twilight" stars Kristen Stewart as the accident-prone heroine and Robert Pattinson as the gold-eyed vampire.
Taylor Lautner stars as Jacob Black, Bella's best friend, a ¬Quileute werewolf from LaPush.
Although none of the movie was filmed on the North Olympic Peninsula, director Catherine Hardwicke scouted the area multiple times in early 2008.
The series has drawn tourists to the book's settings in and near Forks.
The sequels to Twilight are New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
Summit Entertainment, the studio behind "Twilight," has not yet confirmed plans for follow-up films, but "Twilight's" actors and Hardwicke have told MTV.com that a trilogy could be in the works.
For more information on the Port Angeles events, contact Frederick at 360-457-9614 or visit www.portangelesdowntown.com.