As a heavy downpour soaked the parking lot at the Regal Hunt Valley theater Thursday night, dozens of fans of Christopher Nolan's Batman series huddled under umbrellas awaiting the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises."

The first two moviegoers in line - David Lustig and John Desimone, both from Towson - arrived at 5 p.m. at the theater to make sure they got their choice of seats.

"We've been bored for like three hours," Lustig said. "It'd better be worth six hours of sitting here."

With 2 1/2 hours to go before the movie started, the line to get in stretched to the end of the building. That's when the rain came.


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Jen Rudolph, of Catonsville, and Karen Stefanski, of Cockeysville, sat under umbrellas debating whether to give up their spot in line and sit in Stefanski's car until the doors opened.

"I think that just depends on how hard it's raining," Stefanski said. "We'll probably stick it out for as long as we can."

Fortunately for them and many others, a Regal employee came out to tell the eager fans that they would be letting them in early due to the heavy rain.

So, at 10:15, he unlocked the middle doors and whispered, "Slowly!" to the first group in line, not wanting it to be a mad rush. Then he let them in.

Screams came out of the soaking-wet crowd as they shuffled through the single doorway and toward one of the 12 theaters at Hunt Valley.

A Regal employee said all 12 screens were playing "The Dark Knight Rises," and all 12 were sold out.