Harry Potter brings characters to Cinemark

By Kate Evans

Kate Evans/Collegian

From the Bloody Baron to Fred and George Weasley, eager fans decked out in Harry Potter costumes flooded Cinemark Theatres at the Hampshire Mall last Thursday evening. Diehard enthusiasts started arriving as early as 3 p.m. and camped out in the food court.

The first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows broke Cinemark records, selling out six midnight shows on Friday morning with over 1200 ticket sales, according to mall security.

The first half of the last of the Potter series sold out nearly two weeks prior to opening night, said a Cinemark employee. As of Thursday, three primetime showings were sold out for Friday night, and one was sold out for Saturday night.

At 10:07 p.m., four rows lined with caution tape wound from the ticket purchase area into the lobby. The entire mall entrance was flooded with people; standing in line, sitting in the food court, and even camping out on the floor. According to a mall security guard, the line formed at 4 p.m. and had been rowdy since 8:30 p.m.

Eager fans rocked sweatshirts with sayings like, “Because Hogwarts didn’t accept FAFSA,” contributing to the diverse creativity level. A group of five Smith College ladies, decked out in costumes, had homemade snack bags. The snacks, in small brown paper bags tied with colorful ribbon, were labeled “Muggles’ Munchies.” The girls were all planning to perform a spell together before opening their goodies. True to form, when asked for their names they responded with the names of Harry Potter characters.

Though the crowd consisted of mainly high school and college students, one family was the exception to the rule. A mother, dressed as Gilderoy Lockhart, said that since her daughters were dressed as boys she decided to follow suit. Her daughters, Sarah Grace and Jess, donned Fred and George Weasley attire, complete with dyed fire-red hair.

Their mother said, “We’ve gone to all the midnight movies. I make a lot of the other moms unhappy. But they have to go to school tomorrow.”

Three UMass students had fairly original costumes compared to the sea of Hogwarts witches and wizards. TJ was dressed in a full-body, black spandex suit and cape as a dreaded Dementor. Ellen was dressed as Headmaster Dumbledore with his famously long, white beard. Robert, wearing yellow sports clothing, was dressed as the Golden Snitch, which other fans attempted to grab.

Two 18-year-old girls from Hampshire College discussed their theories on the upcoming film. Alissa and Paige both agreed the cutoff between films would be when the clan arrives at the Malfoy Manor, or when they get nabbed by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s Snatchers. Alissa’s favorite character from the series is Sirius Black, while Paige’s is a draw between Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley.

When asked about their opinions on previous films, Paige said of Harry, “He seemed very spoiled in the movies.” Alissa chimed in that he was just “angsty.” Paige countered that Harry “wasn’t angsty; he was just an a**hole.”

Chris, from Amherst College, also dressed as Dumbledore, a fan favorite. His favorite villain is Draco Malfoy, to which his friend Frederick responded, “Awww…but he’s so vanilla.”

Three of the most creative costumes belonged to UMass students, dressed as the House Ghosts. Jacob was dressed as the Fat Friar, Katrine as the Bloody Baron, and Berit as the Grey Lady, also known as Helena Ravenclaw. It took the fans almost two weeks to complete their outstanding outfits, which consisted of white face paint, white hairspray, and classy old clothing.

The group was excited to see where the film cut off, stating they had a bet going amongst themselves. Jacob believed there would be a glorious reunion after Ron wrenched Harry out of the pond. Katrine felt it would be after the group gets to Shell Cottage, feeling positive about their chances against You-Know-Who. Berit thought the film would cut off as Harry dug Dobby’s grave, weeping.

Jacob added that he was most eager to see the character Bellatrix Lestrange, because, “She’s hot, gorgeous, and I’m in love with her.”

By 10:30 p.m. the lines began moving, and moviegoers were ushered into the theaters. Ten minutes later, the entire lobby was cleared. The Cinemark snack bar, which had been empty while fans impatiently waited in line, got fairly crowded once people claimed their seats.

As for the wait until the next film, a freshman dressed as Winky the house elf doesn’t want to wait too long. She does, however, feel that “it’s good that there’s more to see.”

Kate Evans can be reached at [email protected]