By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 17, 2008

There was no lack of enthusiasm — or videography — at Thursday’s opening of the company’s new flagship store in Boston. Thousands of fans turned up and at least a dozen videos have already been edited and posted on YouTube; three representative clips are pasted below the fold.

Anyone who hasn’t been to one of these events might find these images shocking.

It’s one thing to stand in line for hours and share in the growing excitement and anticipation. It’s another to watch it cold, from the outside. There’s a lot of stage-managed hysteria here, whipped up by blue- and orange-shirted Apple staffers working from a script. It’s like a college-town pep rally with just a whiff of Nuremberg.

But what the hell. The fanboys like it, and it sells computers. A lot companies would kill for the kind of loyalty Apple (AAPL) can command.

Videos below, as promised:

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