December 31, 2012 started off like a relatively normal day. Besides a few announcements here and there at the park’s opening, Universal Studios Hollywood – for the most part – didn’t raise a fuss about Terminator’s last performance, or even its last day.
The only anomaly? A steady stream of employees (past and present) making their way alongside the Globe Theater as the cast and crew and their friends and families took their last photos in front of the facade in broad daylight. But for the most part (and unless you looked at the Globe Theater’s marquee), this could have been another normal day. Except for one thing: Terminator 2:3D was closing.
But you wouldn’t have known about it unless you snooped around. In fact, I’m sure many remained oblivious of the fact. Of course, there were a select few who chose to rotate throughout the whole day at Terminator 2, racking on double-digit performances. But again – only a select few. In typical Universal fashion, no major acknowledgement was ever given about any closing.
Soon, this will be no more.
12:00 AM. As you can see, nothing really out of the ordinary. There might have been a few more Cybertechs than usual, but every other element concerning T2 seemed as normal as can be.
Running on 20s (whereas a normal day would have T2 running on 30s).
A rather empty queue with traces of Halloween Horror Nights. If you look closely, you can see they’ve already removed some of the security cameras in the queue.
The counter also seemed to be malfunctioning throughout the day (or reset?).
The only mark that Terminator 2:3D would be closing tonight? The Globe Theater’s marquee.
Families pass by the Terminator facade.
…and of course, you have Shrek towing their 3D glasses to T2’s work room. I wonder what they’re going to do when the show closes. Transformers perhaps? Who knows.
Just another normal day.
4:00 PM. Invited guests and crew start heading into the Globe Theater for their farewell party. Employees could be seen taking their pictures with friends and family.
As 6:00 PM quickly drew near, a small crowd began to form at Terminator’s entrance. Like earlier throughout the day, the queue had a steady 20 minute wait-time which meant a slightly busier day than normal. Fans from our group as well as others had a quick chatter, but again, nothing out of the ordinary that would distinguish this as Terminator’s final day.
It wasn’t until the attraction wait time was changed to “Closed” before fans finally began queuing up, as Cybertechs began announcing the final performance. That’s when things started to hit.
Fans start gathering as the day draws in.
Terminator fans mingle at the entrance. Day becomes pitch dark.
And the final queue begins.
Devoted fans start showing their T2 pride.
Crowd starts getting bigger…
Guests start entering the preshow room for the second-to-last performance of Terminator 2:3D, while our group is held behind.
Finally, we start making our way to our last Cyberdyne presentation.
Our last pair of safety visors.
A fan stands in front of the final casting board with safety visors in hand.
After weeks of dodging harsh restrictions in an attempt to bring you coverage, this was an interesting sign to see. We had a feeling they wouldn’t be enforcing this today.
Here we go.
At this point, it was obvious that the fans now fully occupied the preshow room. Murmuring filled the air as guests clapped enthusiastically to VIC for one last time.
All in all, this was the moment fans were waiting for, and their enthusiasm and excitement showed. Uncharacteristically, the audience reacted favorably to Kimberley and preshow demonstration. Hell, fans even clamored at the sight of the green light after the Cybertechs gave the “all-clear” to start the show. After all, this was the last performance, and fans wanted their appreciation to the staff known.
Kimberley, as expected, deviated slightly off script – bringing a bit of Hollywood/Los Angeles charm that wouldn’t be found anywhere else. My favorite line of the day? Kimberley’s quip that she was “so far out of your [their] league…” in response to catcalls from the audience. Again, you couldn’t find this response anywhere else. Kimberley Duncan’s unique Hollywood attitude had been amplified ten-fold for this special last performance.
Fans gather into a packed preshow room.
“Green light! Green light! Green light!”
“We love you Kimberley!”
“We are the future!”
As the doors opened into the main auditorium, employees were already seated in the back row (they had entered earlier via a back entrance from the Globe Theater). After years of serving guests, they could finally see the show first-hand from a guest’s point of view. Cybertechs that worked the show thanked guests as they passed through, and fans hurriedly tried to document the auditorium one last time before taking their seats.
Enthusiastic responses would be heard repeatedly throughout the performance, with a emphasis on live actors and any mention of Skynet or Cyberdyne Systems. Kimberley continued hinting what now seemed inevitable: this was the last performance of Terminator 2:3D at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Fans begin to take their seat for the last time.
The Terminator making his last runs with the T-1,000,000.
“I’ll be back!”
YES, YES, YES.
Deservedly, the last performance received a standing ovation from audience. What an end to a great show.
Fans wave goodbye to the control booth and to the employees.
The original Terminator mingles with the fans.
I thought I’d never say this, but here’s a T-70 ignited by flash.
Actors getting their well-deserved thanks.
The crew of Terminator 2:3D at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Oh wait! Here’s a mini-hunter!
Maybe I’m odd, but am I the only one that thinks the mini-hunter looks rather cute? Looks like it could be a pet.
The hidden motorcycle track.
One last look.
A fitting end. Sadly, when we headed back just a few hours later, the LED display simply read “Closed.” Guess nothing lasts in Hollywood – not even for a split second.
One last look at Coke Soak.
“Thanks for the memories” indeed.
This post concludes our main coverage of Terminator 2:3D. We hoped you enjoyed following us along. Our staff worked very hard to bring you the coverage you see today, and we’ve been humbled by the response we’ve received so far. We hope to bring you more features as time goes on, so stay tuned to the site. We have many more exciting features to share as well as a few more surprises in store.
On a more personal note, it was great seeing many of you at Terminator 2:3D’s closing. It made an otherwise depressing day bittersweet. I apologize I couldn’t get a group photo, but it’s great to see you all in person and it gives face to an otherwise unidentifiable audience. Thank you again. We couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement.
Oh, and before I forget! Someone in our party found this fortune after Terminator’s last show in the Grinchmas arena. Somehow, it seems fitting to post it here. Thanks again for following us along, and I hope to see you in person – online or at the park.
“Don’t look back. Always look ahead.”
About the Author: Jon Fu
Jon Fu is the editorial director of Inside Universal and oversees the creative direction of the site’s content.
Jon originally founded InsideUniversal.net in 2006 as a summer hobby aimed at providing families and fans a resource for all things “Universal Studios Hollywood.” Since then, the website has taken him throughout the United States and around the world – including to places like Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, California with his bamboo plant. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.