Dozens of people in uniforms and pointy rubber ears munched on hot dogs at a barbecue in the southern Alberta town of Vulcan, as they waited to be bused to their own special preview of Star Trek XI.
Three hundred residents of the town — which shares its name with the birth planet of Star Trek character Mr. Spock — and the surrounding county attended a private showing of the movie in Calgary on Wednesday night, two days before the rest of North America.
Despite not having a movie theatre, the town lobbied to host the world premiere of Star Trek IV. Paramount Pictures turned down the bid, but proposed the sneak peek after Leonard Nimoy weighed in.
In March, the actor, who played the original Spock, said it was "illogical" for the town to be deprived of the film. In response, Paramount offered to pay for travel, refreshments and souvenirs for 300 lucky Vulcans who won a lottery to go to the preview.
Twelve people from across the country, who won seats through a contest on Facebook, also joined the Vulcans for the movie.
Buses picked up guests from the parking lot of the Vulcan's space-themed visitors centre and took them 130 kilometres northwest to the Calgary screening at the Chinook Centre. Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood, who plays Capt. Christopher Pike in the movie, met them there.
Star Trek XI, which officially opens in North America on Friday, focuses on the early years of Mr. Spock and Capt. James T. Kirk.
A railway surveyor named the Alberta town of Vulcan after the Roman god of fire in 1915, but the town has capitalized on its connection with Star Trek. Its Vul-Con convention started in 1993, followed by the creation of its own Starship FX6-1995-A two years later.
A plaque in English, Vulcan and Klingon, as well as a sign with the Vulcan motto "Live Long and Prosper," greet visitors to the town, which has a population of about 1,900.