Hundreds attend midnight showing of new Harry Potter movie

Hundreds of Harry Potter fans, young and old alike, watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at last night's midnight showing at Grand Cinemas, Yakima Valley here in Sunnyside.

Two hundred and sixty one people bought tickets for the digital showing of the film. A total of 91 people went to the film print version.

Most patrons came dressed in everyday clothes but a few got into the spirit and came dressed in costumes. There were two witches walking around last night and at least one young college student came dressed as Harry Potter, himself.

The crowd inside the theater was festive as people started filling up the seats as early as 11 p.m. for the midnight showing.

Megan Saunders, a senior at Sunnyside High School, and Aaron Meador, a sophomore at the same school, were among those who showed up early to get a good seat.

Asked why they wanted to come to the midnight showing of the movie on a school night, Saunders replied because she wants to see it first.

"It's a lot more fun to see it tonight because you don't have to wait and you can see it before everybody else does," she said. Both she and Meador have seen the three previous Harry Potter releases.

Lynn Emery, 57, was encouraged to attend by his granddaughters. Emery, his son and daughter and two granddaughters were all there. The two grandkids, Meagen and Ashleigh Meyers, have read all the books and Ashleigh has read them at least twice. Even their grandpa had seen all of the movies.

A young movie patron kept the crowd informed when the time got close to the start of the movie. He would shout out, "nine minutes," and then, "two minutes," as the seconds ticked off. When the theater went black and the previews started to show, the crowd erupted into cheering and clapping.

The fourth installment in the Harry Potter series is a lot darker than the previous three. People actually die in this one. This movie heads Harry and his pals at Hogwarts into a new direction. As the movie poster states, 'everything will change.'

The special effects are good and believable. In a scene from the Quidditch World Cup, the stadium looks real enough that your stomach takes a dive as the cameras pan around the stadium and then go inside for a closer look.

In one scene, young Potter must outwit a dragon and the action that follows is intense and thrilling. You are with Harry as he is chased by the dragon and can almost feel the heat from the fire that keeps narrowly missing him.

New characters are introduced, and we get to learn a little more about the wizard world and not just the wizards in England.

The screenwriters try to remain faithful to the book but are forced to change some things due to time constraints. Even so, the movie is still 2 1/2 hours long. There was talk, before the movie was released, of actually making the fourth book into two movies, much like the Kill Bill movies. This was not done and although the movie does a good job of moving the audience forward, crucial parts and storylines are left out.

When the movie ended, cheers and applause followed. Everybody was excited and chatting about the movie.

"It was awesome," Meador said. It was a lot better than the last one. Hilarious too. The teachers didn't hit the students in any of the others."

"I liked it because it was funny," Saunders added. "It followed the book pretty well for the major parts."

Chris Greer, assistant manager for Grand Cinemas, Yakima Valley, said, "things went good tonight."

He added that the crowd was about the same as when the last Harry Potter movie opened.


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