By STEVEN NALLEY
Hollywood Premier Cinemas will dedicate up to eight screens, including two 3-D screens, to the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” Thursday.
Greg Bedsauls, owner of Hollywood Premier Cinemas, said the theatre had already sold out of tickets for two 3-D screens and three more 2-D screens as of Wednesday afternoon. He said some in the 3-D audiences would get to wear special 3-D glasses modeled after the glasses the character Harry Potter wears in the books and movies.
But, “Potter” glasses won’t be enough for everyone. At the last “Potter” premiere, Bedsauls said, some 20 or 30 of more than 800 customers appeared dressed up as their favorite characters. One of them was Sara Gill, a senior at Mississippi State University majoring in elementary education. As before, she said, she will be dressing up as Nymphadora Tonks, a shape-shifting ally to Harry Potter known for magically changing her hair color frequently.
“I have a pink wig and everything,” Gill said. “She is one of the stronger female characters in Harry Potter, and she was always one of my favorites.”
Teresa Gawrych, a professor in MSU’s communication department, said she planned to dress up as one of Harry Potter’s deadliest enemies, Bellatrix Lestrange. She said while she is a huge fan of the books and movies, integrating them into her teaching, this will be her first time coming to a premiere in costume.
“There’s something liberating and exciting about dressing up as a wizard,” Gawrych said. “It makes me nostalgic for my childhood, and I think everyone could use a little bit of childhood happiness every once in a while. My favorite thing about ‘Harry Potter’ would be how it transcends ages. Adults, children and grandparents can enjoy the mystery, the adventure and the fantasy of the wizarding world.”
Gawrych said she has seen fans take incredible measures to transform into their favorite characters at “Potter” premieres.
“I was shocked at how many people were dressed up,” Gawrych said. “At the last midnight premiere, there were two people who dressed up as owls. It’s interesting to see what characters people choose to emulate or dress up as. I personally would have never thought of dressing up as a vanishing cabinet, but it was a great idea.”
Gawrych said she is saddened to know that this “Harry Potter” movie will be the last, and that sadness has to do with more than just the silver screen itself.
“I watch the movies quite frequently in my house, but nothing really compares to the excitement and energy you feel at a midnight premiere with people who love a story a character and an adventure like the ‘Harry Potter’ series,” Gawrych said. “It’s like a fever pitch of excitement that you feel in the theatre.”
Gill said she, too, found it bittersweet to see the end of the “Potter” movies, just as it was to see the books end, but she still had hope for the characters’ future.
“It’s not the end of the story,” Gill said. “We can always go back and watch the movies and always go back and read the books. A lot of us, it helped develop who we are as adults, so it will always be with us.”
Someday, Gill said, she will want to share the books with her own children.
“But I’m going to wait until they’re much older,” Gill said, “because the later books have much darker themes that I wouldn’t want my children to read when they’re young.”