The Taylor Swift Eras Tour has kicked off its latest leg, this time on the silver screen in thousands of theaters around the world, bringing the multimillion-dollar concert closer to home at the Indian Mound Mall in Heath.
In a deal with AMC Theatres, Swift released a film version of The Eras Tour, featuring a truncated version of the concert. For Swift fans, this film is a Love Story made in heaven, of which their idol is the Mastermind. Opening night showings at the Heath theater were sold out as hundreds of Swifties flocked to see the film Friday, Oct. 13.
The concert, which features 146 dates in locations across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America, began in early 2023 and is slated to come to a close in late 2024.
While that is a wide range of locations, these concerts are, of course, taking place in major cities. For people in small towns, and people without access to increasingly expensive transportation or increasingly expensive concert tickets, attending this tour meant getting over obstacles Bigger Than The Whole Sky.
In November of 2022, there was a snafu with Ticketmaster, which caused many people to either not get tickets, or spend more than they had anticipated. Swift responded to the debacle, mentioning her disdain for the hardship some fans had to go through.
“It pisses me off that a lot of them [fans] feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them [tickets],” Swift said.
Though face-value tickets to the tour ranged from $49 to $499 (with resale values averaging $3,801, according to Business Insider), tickets to the film cost a self-referential $19.89, an allusion to Swift’s birth year and the title of her fifth album. That price is a 71% increase from the $11.62 average price for AMC tickets. In its opening weekend, the film brought in an estimated $95- $97 million at the domestic box office, according to the Associated Press.
However, Swift provided an opportunity for fans who wish they could go Back to December to try and get tickets.
Donning sparkling dresses and the friendship bracelets traditionally seen at Swift’s concerts, fans of all ages packed into the completely sold-out theater.
“My favorite is ‘1989’, but there are too many songs to pick a favorite,” said Misty Knight, 40, of Newark. “I love ‘Style.’ I love ‘Champagne Problems.’ I love ‘Tolerate it.’ She’s here for ‘Vigilante Shit,’” Knight said, poking her fiancee Tiffany.
“I was not able to go on the Eras tour,” said Amber Young. “I watched her Netflix episode of her previous one and it’s so well done, so I was like, ‘I have to come to this, I missed the tour.’”
This thrill was not a rare sentiment, as the theater’s air was electric with Swifty excitement.
“No, we weren’t able to see the Eras tour,” said Tiffany Knight, 42, of Newark. “I’m super pumped, this is my space. I don’t do big crowds, if I’m gonna see it this is how I’m gonna see it.”
This enthusiasm was shared between fans who saw the tour and those who did not see it.
“I went to Cincinnati in July,” said Dorothy Ellis. “I bought the tickets [for the movie] immediately.”
Ellis attended the film clad in friendship bracelets — a staple of the Eras tour wardrobe. Hers featured song names alongside green, blue, and orange beads.
“Some of them I made for the tour,” Ellis explained. “We made a bunch of them last night.”
The atmosphere inside the theater was just as thrilling. Kids were dancing at the front of the theater, and applause scored the end of every song. When Swift would pause in her concert to work the crowd, the audience in the theater would cheer as if it were happening live. The mother and daughter in E4 and E5 embraced, singing throughout the whole film.
Noah Fishman writes for TheReportingProject.org, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s journalism program, which is sponsored in part by the Mellon Foundation. [email protected]