Eighteen hours - that was the wait for some of Batman's biggest fans. We'd waited four years for Christopher Nolan to follow-up The Dark Knight but the final day must have felt like an eternity to the most dedicated fans who camped out at the Leicester Square venue,.
They'd seen it all building up. The giant, flaming bat that was erected over the northern entrance. The huge, house-sized cowl that was dominating the middle of the square. The broadcast trucks, security guards, camera crews.
The square turned from its bustling normality into a hive of excitement and anticipation. And those who had decided to weather the storms had watched the transformation with wide-eyed excitement.
"I love Christian Bale so much. I wanted a chance to tell him. This is it!" exclaimed Sarah Goddard of Worcester. She was carrying a large sign professing her undying love, and sporting cat-like ears. Somehow, it was hard to believe Bale would approach her.
"I've been into Batman since I was born," insisted another guy, who preferred to keep his identity to himself. He was aided by the elaborate Bane costume he had donned. Unlike the Bane nearer the press-pit, this guy hadn't considered working out in preparation for dressing as a man-mountain. The mask does not make the man, we pondered.
First on the red carpet was Marion Cotillard. We're no experts, but her outfit wasn't what we'd call glamourous. But what it did prove was that the French actress could wear pretty much anything and still look astonishingly beautiful.
Morgan Freeman soon followed, but his bee-line past the hordes was the fastest of the day. Bale and Hardy, clearly unimpressed with the machinations of celebrity, managed to maintain moody personas while scribbling as many autographs as possible.
We canvassed Twitter for questions. "Was it nice working with Joseph Gordon-Levitt again?" asked Lauren Baker of Tom Hardy. "What do you do to unwind after a high octane shoot?" wondered Witwicky
"What did Tom Hardy do about his crazy tan line?" asked another. We didn't know what she meant, it was best to not risk asking Hardy.
Then, wearing a sexy dress and a short hair-do, Anne Hathaway appeared. Majestic and truly Hollywood-beautiful, she lit up the proceedings, despite the increasing drizzle and ominous grey skies.
Yet while this was a summer blockbuster, the dreary weather somehow suited the occasion. The Dark Knight Rises is, after all, not a film with a sunny disposition.
When the cast finally milled into the Odeon, the fans packed up and left. Li a flash, they were gone. They hadn't seen the film, but they'd seen the cast. That appeared to be enough. For most at least.
One fan was still loitering, hoping that maybe the cast would exit the theatre once the lights went down. "I had to wait so long to see the cast turn up, I don't know if I can wait to see the movie," she told us. The alternatives to not waiting, we hope, hadn't occurred to her.
Slightly disturbed, we left her there. The Dark Knight was busy rising inside two of London's biggest cinemas. And didn't she know it.