It’s official: The Grove is closed for the day.
Barricades and security guards were seen encircling Los Angeles’ popular luxury mall, closing it off to workers and would-be shoppers. LAPD officers plan to rove the area later in the afternoon.
The reason: Taylormania.
In an invitation distributed to attendees, AMC Theatres confirmed that the highly anticipated Taylor Swift: Eras Tour concert film will premiere Wednesday at AMC’s the Grove 14 and that all of the mall’s shops and restaurants will be shuttered for the event. The film’s wide release is scheduled for Friday.
Here’s what to know about the event and how the Swiftie madness is expected to affect the Fairfax area.
What’s closed and what’s open?
The Grove at Farmers Market announced its closure Wednesday morning on social media. “The Grove will be closed today,” the mall said on its Instagram stories, alongside a photo of the AMC theater.
Red carpet covered the brick pavement leading to the theater’s entrance, according to video shared on social media, with plenty of photo-op backdrops with the film’s poster.
The neighboring Original Farmers Market remained open Wednesday, The Times confirmed with businesses at the shopping center and food hall. They reported seeing hordes of security guards posted at the Grove’s main entrances, alongside metal barricades.
TMZ reported that Rick Caruso’s eponymous company, which runs the Grove, plans to compensate businesses for revenue losses during the closure. (A spokesperson for the Grove did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.)
Should I be worried about traffic?
If Swift’s six-show run of sold-out shows at SoFi Stadium is any indication of Swifties’ willingness to show up for their icon, Wednesday night’s movie premiere may draw large crowds to the area.
But the scale should be much smaller — SoFi Stadium has a seating capacity of 70,000+, while AMC the Grove 14 has seats for somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 moviegoers.
Even so, an officer at the LAPD Wilshire Community station told The Times that its rank-and-file were warned of traffic congestion in the area due to the event. An LAPD detail was to be assigned to the area to help with traffic demands starting at 2:30 p.m.
Although the officer said no road closures would be in place, the surrounding streets of Fairfax Avenue, 3rd Street and Beverly Boulevard may see a surge in traffic before, during and after the premiere, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Friendship bracelets encouraged!
Swift’s film arrives with much anticipation and some controversy after her original announcement in late August, which encouraged “Eras attire, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing.”
The movie, directed by Sam Wrench, has been promoted as an extension of Swift’s record-breaking Eras tour, with moviegoers expected to pack theaters in the same vibrant and playful outfits seen throughout the tour. However, the invitation for dancing and singing has generated criticism from theater workers who worry the rush of fans will leave theaters trashed and concerns about attendees using their phones and filming during screenings and disrupting others by talking and singing during the film, according to Rolling Stone.
Screenings are expected to last two weeks, with each AMC theater and other theater chains hosting at least four showings each day and four a week, the report said — much longer than other recent concert films, such as “Billie Eilish: Live at the O2”.
Last week, AMC announced ticket presales had already reached $100 million globally.