Midnight marks final chapter for 'Potterphiles'
Although the movie doesn't officially open until Friday, the mania for Harry Potter already has a firm hold in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" officially opens Friday, but movie theaters around the area are either sold out or close to selling out their special midnight showings.
"Midnight is sold out already," said Kat Stein, director of public relations and communications at the Franklin Institute. "A hundred tickets have already sold for the 2:30 a.m. show and 50 have sold for the 5 a.m."
The Franklin Institute is also holding a fan party at 10 p.m. Thursday before the three showings. Those in attendance can expect prizes for outstanding costumes and answering Harry Potter trivia.
Additionally, the Franklin Institute is setting up "science behind the magic" demonstrations themed around Harry Potter, such as "Care of Magical Creatures" and "Potions."
"Basically, we're having a celebration," said Jen Delaney, public relations associate at the Institute.
Stein predicted that some fans will probably "double up," if not stick around to see all three showings.
The AMC Marple is hosting a double feature Thursday, beginning at 9 p.m. with a showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" before showing Part 2 at midnight.
All midnight showings at the Regal Edgmont Square are sold out. There are also three showings scheduled for 3 a.m.
"One of them is almost halfway sold-out," said Sam Vile, a manager at Edgmont Square.
Vile is sure he'll see costumed fans, but doubted there'd be anything "too extravagant."
"You see girls dressed as Hermione, kids with the lightning bolt on their foreheads like Harry Potter," he said. "It's pretty much like any movie premier, like a 'Star Wars' with people dressing like Jedi knights. Any movie theater (is) going to get them."
At the Party Land on Baltimore Pike in Springfield, a display at the front of the store with Harry Potter costume items stood nearly empty Tuesday afternoon.
"People have been buying mostly the robes and the sword. Wands are gone, too," said an employee. "One lady came in and bought a blond wig. Her daughter is going to be one of the teachers (from the movie)."
Other stores are sure to take advantage of the hype from the movie's release.
The Borders at Springfield Square South set up a two-tiered table near their registers. Blu-ray copies of the movie stood in a row at the top tier with Harry Potter Legos, Wizard's Chess sets and, of course, the books spread beneath.
In the run-up to the release, Rita's Water Ice has been offering samples of Harry Potter-themed flavors, such as butter beer and pumpkin products.
Brittany Eastman, a librarian at the Media Upper Providence Library, plans to show Part 1 at 3:30 p.m.
She said that though not all of the books are checked out, all copies of the seventh Harry Potter book are checked out.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as the series' protagonists, "Part 2" is positioned as the final movie in the series.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the movie stood at a 96 percent on critic aggregate website Rottentomatoes.com .