Matti Gordon tried to get in line for the Nov. 18 midnight premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" at 9 a.m. She was so early, the doors to Harkins Bricktown Cinemas were still locked. No worries " she just came back 90 minutes later.
She was first in line. Obviously. That's dedication.
Thanks to a dinner that lasted approximately 300 times longer than it should have, my group " all wearing specially screen-printed T-shirts sporting the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, just to prove our HP street cred " didn't get in line until almost 12 hours after Gordon's first attempt. We were last in line. My shame knew no depths.
But through a strange bit of luck (I think we'd call that "magic" in Harry's world), I ended up sitting right next to Gordon and her group of first-in-liners. Over some shared fudge and cookies, we talked a bit about the movie.
"I'm most anxious to see Ron leaving," Gordon said, referencing a very gloomy, anxiety-ridden part of the book.
And what would the group most like to be able to take from Harry's world? Shelbie Coombs knew her answer right away: "I want a wand, a working wand," she said, specifying it would have a dragon heartstring core.
For Gordon, that'd be a flying broom, "a Firebolt, definitely."
That's what I love about midnight premieres: speaking our own fan language, where phrases like "dragon heartstring" make complete sense " and we understand each other perfectly.
The Cine Capri at Harkins was sold-out for the premiere. Same thing for the six other theaters Harkins had dedicated to the witching-hour viewing. The energy inside the theater was absolutely electric " magical, even " with dressed-up fans buzzing with a nervous excitement. Gryffindor ties abounded, wands were everywhere, Hogwarts-approved plaid skirts took up a lot of the theater seats.
There was even an appearance by Harry's beloved Hedwig. The snowy owl was perched on the arm of Robert Cox, dressed as Harry, of course, complete with round glasses and Gryffindor robes, tie, scarf and wand. He said he even has a broomstick, but he'd left that piece of the outfit at home.
Hedwig came courtesy of Cox's friend Kasey Gardner, who visited Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida the week it opened and adopted the owl. Like first-in-line Gordon, that's true franchise love.
But it's not the imaginative costumes or props that brought us all out to queue up for hours waiting for the clock to strike midnight " it was the chance to experience the first half of this final installment. And for many of us, it was just the first of numerous planned viewings.
"Maybe I'll see it seven times in the theater," Gordon said, who saw the previous sequel, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," six times in theaters.
But no more talking about what we'll do later, because midnight had come. The curtain parted, we all screamed like crazy, and the lights went down. " Jenny Coon Peterson
Photo Credit: Jenny Coon Peterson