The hype began several years ago. The fever rose following the launch of its trailer recently. But, when ‘Enthiran' hit the cinemas on Friday, it was really party time for fans of the ‘Superstar.'

Celebrations for the Rajinikanth-starrer began soon past midnight on Thursday. Fans flocked different theatres and multiplexes here — many for catching the first day, first show and others for simply experiencing the sheer excitement.

Firecrackers set the mood at Kasi theatre in Ashok Nagar. Huge cut-outs, banners and posters made for characteristic paraphernalia of day one of a Rajinikanth film.

“Fans came in as early as 1.30 a.m. to burst crackers and celebrate. It went on till 5 a.m., when we had a special screening for fans,” said S.P. Palaniappan, owner of the theatre.

Director of the film Shankar had also come for this special show and watched the nearly three-hour movie standing.

Teenaged twin brothers Ajay and Vijay could hardly wait for their 11 a.m. show at Kasi theatre. Biting his nails, Ajay declared himself an ardent fan and quickly listed his favourite films of Rajinikanth.

“Both of them are staunch Rajini fans — just like I want them to be,” said their father P. Rajasekar, with evident pride about the second-generation fans in the family.

“It is something to catch his films on the first day. He is not like any other actor. His biggest movie is out today and he is a superstar, but I am sure he is sitting at home calmly, without even caring to shave his beard. Such is his simplicity,” said Mr. Rajasekar, emphasising the phenomenon his ‘thalaivar' is.

‘Enthiran' has meant a lot of hard work for M. Chandru, who was at Albert theatre around noon to supervise the celebrations, after catching the early-morning show at Devi theatre. He was not part of the production crew, but he is in the practice of seeing the first day, first show, specially attired for the movie.

“I went to about 100 stores in Vadapalani before I could get this shiny, robot-like costume. I painted my helmet silver, but it didn't look good enough. So, last night, I got some aluminium foil and wrapped it up,” said the youngster, who works at the parcel section of a mess in Chepauk. On the film, the seasoned fan said: “Till now, we knew of a hero who is a superstar. In this film, he has proved that he is a superstar even when he is the villain. There's no one like him!”

Sathyam Cinemas also wore a festive look with a ‘pandal' and a red carpet. Just as viewers came out after watching the matinee show, there was a sudden buzz. It was Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, with his son and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri and other family members, entering the multiplex for the evening show.

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