At midnight on Nov.19, devoted Harry Potter fans will swarm into theaters to watch the first installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Many of these viewers will wait on line for at least two or three hours prior to show time to ensure that they nab the best seats in the theater, but a number of real die-hards will wait on line all day.
For nearly a decade, lining up hours in advance for the midnight premiere of the latest Potter film has been a beloved tradition shared among fans. Since many viewers typically dress up as their favorite characters as they wait on line, attending the midnight premiere offers viewers the unique opportunity of seeing the film with Harry Potter along with 15 look a-likes, plus a number of Hermiones, Rons and maybe even a Dumbledore or two.
Potter midnight premieres bring together a diverse group of fans from adults to pre-teens, and, unsurprisingly, many college students are in attendance as well. Seton Hall students are no exception, as many are planning to line up for the midnight premiere of “Deathly Hallows.”
Robert Eng, a sophomore, already has tickets to see the film. “I love ‘Harry Potter’, but I’ve never been to a midnight release before,” he said. “I’m looking forward more to the atmosphere of the release than the movie itself. I have high hopes for the movie, but I can see it anytime of the day. What I’m really excited for is to be a part of all the hype.”
The Potter premieres have brought in huge amounts of revenue to movie theaters across the country. The midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” shattered records in 2009 by raking in a grand total of $20 million at the midnight premiere alone. “Deathly Hallows” is expected to surpass this total.
Working at the Potter premieres, however, can be tiresome for employees. Charles Costello, a sophomore at SHU and employee at Frank’s Family Theater in Bayonne, N.J., said, “The atmosphere of the theater during a Potter midnight premiere is very energetic, but at times quite chaotic. Dealing with hardcore fan crowds, while interesting, is often frustrating.”
Besides the exhilarating ambiance of being at the midnight showing, there is a level of practicality behind lining up for a Potter release. Unlike other movie premieres, tickets for the Harry Potter premiere normally sell out days in advance. Unless you don’t mind staring up Harry’s nose in the first row of a packed movie theater, getting there early is a necessity.
Undoubtedly, there is something special about the midnight showings that entice viewers. Michcella Tiscronia, a junior, is attending the midnight premiere at the National Amusement Multiplex Cinema in Tiscornia’s hometown of Edgewater, N.J.
“I love midnight showings,” Tiscronia said. “There’s a sense of excitement that feels similar to Christmas morning- like an awesome present being unveiled. The anticipation is sometimes better than the actual movie.
“There’s also a huge sense of camaraderie among the fans. At a midnight premiere, you’ll find only the people who are really dedicated. And it’s a party; people are dressed up, holding signs, gossiping about what the movie might be like – it’s unbelievable. Going later in the day isn’t the same,” Tiscronia said.
To get the full Potter experience, attending a midnight premiere is a must. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” hits theaters Friday Nov. 19 at 12 a.m.