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The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ offers fans the rare opportunity to simulate her concert in the theater

Photo: Rachel Choi

A rare moviegoing experience has hit theaters: pop icon Taylor Swift’s new concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” has been hosting sold-out screenings since last Friday, Oct. 13. On our campus, students have been frequenting theaters, including the popular AMC Boston Common 19—and have been abuzz about the new film and what it meant to them.

The Eras Tour is a culmination of her entire discography, her evolution as an artist, and the winning of her master and publishing rights to her music in 2019. The tour features all of Swift’s albums, creating a rare moment in which fans can experience the extent of her work live. The tour commenced last March (and is to end in Nov. 2024) in the wake of Swift’s 2022 album “Midnights.” As of now, it is a contender for one of the highest grossing tours of all time.

As Swift sells out stadiums worldwide, concert tickets are notoriously hard to come by. Thus, the film serves as a less competitive (nor as expensive) means of witnessing the concert. Much like the concert itself, fans have gone all out to show their love for Swift’s music at these film screenings.

The Eras Tour film is not Taylor’s first concert film/documentary—it follows, for example, her fall 2020 film “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.” However, every film that came before Eras was not released in theaters, only showing on platforms such as network television and streaming services. This is the first time where Swift fans are able to attend major movie theaters for screenings of one of her documentaries.

“Everybody was dressed up for the movie like they were going to the Eras tour, me included,” sophomore journalism major Anastasia Petridis said. “I didn’t know that was the vibe, but [the night before] I went to the Max, and there were some girls that had clearly just come from it because they had the friendship bracelets and Eras tour outfits, and I did not know we were dressing up for this.”

This sentiment is echoed by other students in attendance, such as senior writing, literature, and publishing major Joei Chan. 

“There were some people that were dressed up, and that was really cool,” she said. “I mean, I didn’t because I didn’t know what to wear, but I know some people did, like, one of my friends wore a shirt with her song lyrics on it.”

Petridis reminisced about the audience singing along and cheering after every song. She was not able to attend the Eras tour, and the theater’s atmosphere helped make up for that. 

“When she was touring in the U.S., I was in Europe, so I couldn’t go see her. [The film] honestly made me feel like I was there,” she said. 

Chan spoke similarly about her experience. She felt positively about how the film may benefit Swift fans.

I actually really am happy that she made this film. It’s for those who were not able to go [to Eras],” Chan said. “Being able to distribute it to theaters around the country is a smart idea. It’s more accessible for those who weren’t able to make it due to whatever reason.”

The ability to grant fans a tour-adjacent experience is a notable impact of the film being widely screened in major cinemas.

“It really felt like I was at a concert. There were people who were clapping, I heard some people singing, I was singing, my friends were singing,” Chan said. “So it was really cool. It’s hard to make me cry when I watch a movie, and seeing this made me cry. That was very special.”

The hype for the Eras Tour film was rampant among Swift’s fanbase. According to CNBC, the film made “$31 million during its second weekend in theaters, the most of any concert film at the domestic box office.”

The film has distinguished itself in terms of the AMC moviegoing experience as well. Tickets for the movie are more expensive than the typical movie ticket. An adult ticket costing $19.89 (an homage to her 2014 album “1989” and her birth year) and free movie passes, including AMC Stubs A-List reservations, do not apply to the film.

The screenings also came with their own set of concessions merchandise. Petridis described the merchandise as “overpriced.”

“You got a Taylor Swift popcorn bucket and a Taylor Swift Cup and a Taylor Swift mini poster. I was like, I’m not paying $25 for popcorn,” she said.

Petridis also mentioned that beyond the concessions, there was “a lot of Taylor Swift swag everywhere.”

Beyond a disappointingly short “Speak Now” set, in which she only played one song off the 2009 album, which was “Enchanted,” the Eras Tour film seems to have been successful. It gave more Swifties a chance to experience her concert and broke concert film box office records in the process.

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About the Contributor
Sasha Zirin, Assistant Living Arts Editor
Sasha Zirin, they/them, is a sophomore hailing from the Washington, D.C. metro area, majoring in journalism. They hold the role of Assistant Living Arts Editor and derive immense satisfaction from writing across the spectrum of news and the living arts. Sasha is an active contributor to Emerson's arts publication, EM Magazine, and maintains a robust affiliation with the Emerson Poetry Project. During their free moments, they indulge in their love for reading, drawing, knitting, and watching movies.

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