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Caught up in Spidey's web

Published May 4, 2007

[Times photo: Edmund D. Fountain]
Crowds watch as Raymond Hilstad climbs down the side of Baywalk dressed as Spiderman on Thursday night. The new IMAX theater at Baywalk in St. Petersburg showed a special midnight screening of Spider-Man 3 on Friday.

[Times photo: Edmund D. Fountain]
Dressed as Spiderman, stuntman Raymond Hilstad greets fans in front of the Muvico theater at Baywalk on Thursday night. A special event was held leading up to the midnight showing.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The small kids, and the grown ones, had the same passion late Thursday night.

The red webbed superhero with the cool moves.

"Oh my God, this is going to be so cool," said Jacob Buckler, 8, of St. Petersburg, as he and about 100 others waited to watch Spider-Man rappel 50 feet down the BayWalk 20 Muvico theater in downtown St. Petersburg.

Music blared. Smoke billowed. Spotlights roamed.

The night's celebration was two-fold: the opening of the Spider-Man 3 movie and the unveiling of Pinellas County's first Imax theater, with a screen stretching floor to ceiling and wall to wall with the sound to match.

Three and a half hours before the 12:01 a.m. movie, Michael Keith, 18, and Yancy Gotshall, 19, snared the best seats in the sold-out house -- Row H, seats 14 and 15.

Outside the theater, the Rivera brothers of St. Petersburg, Antonio, 5, and Emilio, 3, pointed and laughed as they watched Spidey walk down the building.

And yes, it was even better than a movie.

Melanie Ave can be reached at or (727) 893-8813.

[Last modified May 4, 2007, 01:14:51]

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