SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Hundreds of Black Friday shoppers waited in line outside Best Buy at the Maine Mall in South Portland on Thursday night, waiting to pour through the doors when they parted at the stroke of midnight.

The mall itself also opened at midnight but the mallside entrance to Best Buy was not scheduled to open until 3 a.m. So shoppers queued up in the cold outside for their chance to snatch up deals on televisions, iPods and computers from the national big box retailer.

Voucher tickets were handed out to the first few dozen people in line, guaranteeing them a chance to buy more popular items like televisions before 3 a.m. Scattered line-cutting and voucher-selling was reported by others in line, but the mood was mostly cheerful. South Portland Police Department officers, mall security and Best Buy security were all on hand to keep the peace. Shoppers were let into the store in groups of about 50 persons at a time to keep up with fire codes and to prevent scrums and scuffles.

The Maine Mall will be open through 10 p.m. Friday.

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.