"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is officially in theaters.
The first showings started at 7 p.m. Thursday, and local movie theaters stepped up security in advance of what's expected to be a record-breaking weekend.
Fans in full costumes crowded the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.
Off-duty police checked lightsabers, space weapons and other costumes bits as part of a security screening, and they will continue to do so for every showing.
“We live in a world where things happen that we don't expect,” said Marilyn Peebles, a mom whose three sons are Star Wars fans. “I really appreciate the extra security they're taking to make sure we really enjoy the moment, being truly in a "Star Wars" world in all these costumes, but having everybody doing it in the safest way possible."
Some dedicated fans arrived at AMC NorthPark 15 early Thursday morning. The theater hosted a marathon of all six of the previous films in the saga.