The scene at the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II at the 84th Street AMC Theater loosely resembled a themed college party gone awry. Leggy redheads wearing “Hermione-esque” school-girl outfits spilled off the curb onto 84th Street. Wand-wielding twenty-something’s sat cross-legged on the sidewalk, playing Harry Potter trivia card games. At 10:30, an hour and a half before the show began, the line stretched from Broadway to Amsterdam and around the corner.
“This is madness,” commented a theater employee. “I haven’t seen anything like this since Sex and the City 2!” Alas, the theater would only keep approximately one percent of the evening’s earnings, according to a manager. “We’re really pushing the concession stand tonight. We need some of that Harry Potter Gringott’s gold!”
Outside the theater, The Observer met an engaged couple, Sarah Weitz,32, and John Hammon, 30, who met at the New York Premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in New York ten years ago. “We’re getting married tomorrow,” beamed Hammon. Both Weitz and Hammon were decked out in matching Ginny and Harry garb, respectfully, complete with a redhead dye job and a semi-permanent scar in Hammon’s forehead. “We carved it last night with a shard of glass,” said Hammon. The wedding theme? Summer at Hogwarts. After 3 years spent planning “a perfectly Potter wedding”, the couple plan to honeymoon at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. They are registered at Crate and Barrel.
The couple plans to marry on Friday, after having seen the film saga to fruition. “It feels right. Harry and the gang have been part of our relationship since the very beginning. We wouldn’t want to get married without seeing Harry through to the end.”
“It’ll be weird, down the road, when we have kids, to tell them we were there when the first movie came out,” squealed Weitz.
For countless fan(atics), Thursday night marked the end of a cultural phenomenon, a moment of closure, and a new explosion in the fan fiction universe. “I’m more excited to go home and create fanfics and fandom’s than I am to see the movie,” commented Julian Si, a Cho Chang lookalike. “The movie is more of a formality for me.”
After the credits rolled, The Observer spotted a couple tucked away in a back row, sobbing loudly and gripping each other, rocking back and forth. “It’s going to be alright,” consoled one half of the pair. “We’ll see it again tomorrow, I promise.”