Vulcans beaming after Star Trek preview in Calgary

Three hundred Vulcan, Alta., residents are over the moon Thursday morning after a sneak peak at the new Star Trek movie.
Actor Bruce Greenwood, centre, poses with Erin Melcher, left, and Dayna Dickens, right, from the Vulcan, Alta., tourism bureau before a preview of the new Star Trek movie. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

Three hundred Vulcan, Alta., residents are over the moon Thursday morning after a sneak peek at the new Star Trek movie. 

They didn't arrive via transporter to see it ... they took buses to Calgary.

The town, which shares the name of Mr. Spock's home planet, wanted to host the world premiere of the Hollywood summer blockbuster. 

The studio said no. But actor Leonard Nimoy — who played Spock in the original TV series — convinced the studio it would be illogical to deny Vulcan its link with the sci-fi movie. 

So an advance screening in Calgary was arranged because Vulcan doesn't actually have a movie theatre.

Buses picked up guests from the parking lot of Vulcan's space-themed visitors centre and took them 130 kilometres northwest to the Calgary screening at the Chinook Centre.

Vulcan logic

"It's marvellous. If it hadn't been for dear old Spock, we wouldn't be here," said Sheila Brown of Vulcan. "Leonard Nimoy, he just got on the ball and he said they should have a special day. And my family have been Trekkies right from the very beginning."

Vulcan residents dressed the part for their sneak peek of the latest Star Trek movie. ((Bryan Labby/CBC))

Twelve people from across the country, who won seats through a contest on Facebook, also joined the 300 Vulcans for the movie.

Wearing everything from suits to jean jackets to the uniform of their favourite Star Trek character, these Vulcans were walking on air as they made their way into the theatre in Calgary.

"This is so exciting. For a small town in the Canadian Prairies to have this much media attention thrown on it is really just … unbelievable," said one moviegoer.

Nimoy was unable to attend, but Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood, who plays Capt. Christopher Pike in the new movie, was on hand.

He said he was thrilled for the town. "It means a chance to really have a good time tonight and celebrate a long history of association with something that's really meaningful," he said.

The movie, which opens in commercial cinemas Friday, reveals how the original characters of the Star Trek TV series met and had their first adventures.

And Nimoy himself makes an appearance as a mature Mr. Spock.

"Oh my favourite moment? When Spock came on the screen.  First time... that was great, it was great to see him again," one fan told CBC News.

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.

With files from Scott Dippel