Actor Channing Tatum came live and in person — and the crowd was pumped — Wednesday evening, Aug. 9, at Regal Pinnacle 18 in Turkey Creek.
Fans paid $50 a ticket to view the country’s only benefit screening of his upcoming movie, “Logan Lucky,” which will hit theaters Aug. 17, and get the chance to talk to Tatum — or even get a selfie.
The 37-year-old actor, who has appeared in a slew of movies including “G.I. Joe” and “Magic Mike," stars with Daniel Craig in his newest movie about a NASCAR heist set in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A red carpet lined the pathway to the doors and the crowd began to gather at 4 p.m., although the star wouldn’t arrive till 7 p.m.
Once Tatum and his entourage arrived, he worked down the line of about 100 without tickets, including five Farragut High School girls, who were waiting behind a barricade in the parking lot.
The crowd in front of the theater screamed as Tatum finally approached. Wishes came true as he posed for selfies, even helping make them, signed items and chatted with fans and media on both sides of the red carpet.
Two hundred tickets had sold out in a couple of hours in July as soon as the event was announced. Regal employee Emily Baker estimated that another 400 were given to corporate sponsors. The movie would be shown on three screens at Pinnacle, she said.
Music was pumping and they seemed happy waiting for three or more hours, passing time taking selfies while fanning themselves in the heat. Fans drove in from across state lines.
Jayden Frazier, her mom and her sister came from Corbin, Kentucky, even though they couldn’t get tickets — waiting behind a barricade in the parking lot. They were among the lucky ones greeting, and getting selfless, from Tatum.
“He’s really good-looking,” Jayden, 15, said about Tatum, “and I think the world of him. I’ve seem ‘Magic Mike’ and ‘Dear John.’
Does she want to marry someone who looks like Channing Tatum? “Yes!” she said. “The Vow” was the first Tatum movie little sister, Kamryn Frazier, 11, had seen. "One of my friends got to spend some time with him in Kentucky, and they said he was a very humble person,” said mom, Lindsey Frazier.
Two friends drove some 200 miles from Dickson — west of Nashville.
“We found out that he was going to be in Knoxville next week and I was like, ‘Uh yeah! That’s close enough!” said Michele Branham of Dickson, who drove with her friend, Kristi Tenpenny.
Why are they so enthused about Tatum?
“What’s not to love?” Branham responded. “Look at the guy — he’s dreamy. I’ve been a fan for a long time.”
What does her husband think of her obsession?
“Over the years, he’s just like, ‘Whatever, go have fun,’” she laughed.
“I’m not married,” Tenpenny said, “but if I was, I wouldn’t care what my husband thought.”
Steven Soderbergh, "Logan Lucky" director, also was on hand for the screening.
“’Logan Lucky’ premiere raised almost $600,000 to benefit at-risk children in Eastern Tennessee," said Carol Fusco, VCCET executive director, Thursday.