By Carolyn Williams
If you’ve never been to a Harry Potter midnight event, you’ve been seriously missing out. At the Cinema Center of Selinsgrove, fans arrived in droves to witness firsthand the beginning of Harry’s final adventure in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I” on Nov. 18. The shows, playing in every available theater, were completely sold out in advance, and from the moment the wizarding enthusiasts entered the crowded lobby, they were swept up in the excitement.
The theater itself capitalized on the palpable enthusiasm, selling Harry Potter themed merchandise like “Slytherin Soda” and “Polyjuice Potion” to delighted fans.
“The atmosphere was great, a lot of people were dressed up for the movie and it just made the experience that much better,” Spenser Frieri ’14 said.
Many fans donned costumes. The time individual fans put into their elaborate ensembles spoke volumes of their commitment to J.K. Rowling’s beloved series. Every detail, from Hermione’s bushy hair to Ron’s freckles were painstakingly observed and recreated on their Muggle counterparts. A Quidditch team was even decked out in handmade recreations of uniform capes. Adults and young children alike wore Gryffindor scarves and broken glasses. Harrys abounded, and many fans painted on false lightening bolt scars to show their support of The Boy Who Lived.
The buildup to the show itself was remarkable. As excited spectators took their seats, they speculated on where the film would end, what would be different from the books, the performances of their favorite actors and how their favorite scenes would translate to film. The enthusiasm was infectious, and when the previews finally began, a hush descended on the theater, the anticipation practically crackling in the air. It was finally time.
An intense two and a half hours later, the audience left the theater feverishly discussing what they had just seen. The sentence “I can’t wait to see it again!” was recurrent, and the enthusiasm evidenced earlier was hardly diminished. If anything, it seemed to have grown after seeing the long-awaited film.
University students were well represented at the premiere, and they were among Harry’s most enthusiastic supporters.
“Entering the theater at midnight was the experience of a lifetime,” Caroline Confort ’14 said. The atmosphere was made complete by our neighbors in line clad in quidditch capes and Harry Potter lightening bolts. I couldn’t have asked for a more Harry Potter-tastic experience,” she said.