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Some drove miles for Miley

February 02, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Michele Glessner drove a niece and her daughter, Shaunna, more than 150 miles round-trip from New Paris, Pa., Friday morning for one of the first showings of "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour."

Shaunna, 10, and her cousin Emaleigh Mowry, 10, said Hannah Montana is their favorite "celebrity."

"I like how she sings," Emaleigh said.

Regal Valley Mall Stadium 16 in Hagerstown was one of only 500 theaters across the United States that was showing the concert movie, said Megan Alderton, a theater manager.

A long line full of young girls dressed in pink Hannah Montana T-shirts was awaiting a 5:20 p.m. showing. The line began forming by 4:45 p.m.

Kaleah Mellott, 6, and her cousin, Makenah Harrington, 10, both of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., wore platinum wigs, Hannah Montana shorts and sparkly shoes in honor of the teenage singer. Both girls watch Hannah Montana movies and like her music, they said.

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"We wanted to be like her," Makenah said.

Jack Gest took his daughters Nicole, 8, and Jenna, 4, to a Friday morning showing of the movie because the girls had the day off from school, he said.

The girls like the Hannah Montana television show, which airs on the Disney Channel, Nicole said.

As the crowd left the theater after the 3:10 p.m. showing, mumbles of "that was better than any concert" could be heard.

"It was awesome," said Caleigh Pumphrey, 7, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

Caleigh said her favorite part of the movie was when Miley Cyrus, who plays Hannah Montana, sang "Best of Both Worlds," a song Caleigh said she dances to.

Hannah Montana's TV show and the movie are family-friendly, said Caleigh's mother, Carly Pumphrey.

Other mothers agreed.

"It's hard to find role models that are appropriate. She has decent lyrics, it was appropriate for children," said Sheri Kesler, who drove her daughter, Amanda, from Cross Junction, Va., for the 3:10 p.m. show in Hagerstown.

Amanda, 8, said it was a "really great movie." Her favorite part was when Hannah Montana changed into Miley Cyrus, she said.

"She's only in her teens and she's so normal, not like Britney Spears," said Alex Holmes, 10, of Inwood, W.Va.

"And she's a good singer," said Sarah Shaffer, 10, also of Inwood.

Cyrus is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus of "Achy Breaky Heart" fame. Billy Ray Cyrus appeared in the movie, strumming a guitar with his daughter and talking about her music.

The movie was shown in 3-D, which was a great idea because it kept the concert interesting, Sheri Kesler said.

Those who attended the 3:10 p.m. showing donned 3-D glasses offered with the price of admission. Some shouted in surprise when the 3-D images appeared to be swooping into the theater.

Two little ponytailed girls danced around in the front of the theater throughout the movie, occasionally stretching their arms out toward the screen.

Almost all of today's showings of the movie were sold out by Friday, a theater manager said. The only tickets still available for today by Friday afternoon were for the two latest showtimes of 9:40 and 11:50 p.m.

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