Harry Potter’s silver screen finale was over a decade in the making and thousands of Capital Region fans couldn’t wait another day, as they flocked to theaters Thursday night for the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
Heavily sprinkled among the muggle attire at the Crossgates Mall on Thursday night were moviegoers sticking to a strict Hogwarts dress code — with robes, house colors and their personal wand. Cobleskill resident Amber LaPlant, 22, got into character by showing off an emerald green tie of the notorious Slytherin House, to which Lord Voldemort had belonged.
“That’s just my favorite house,” she said, while still being open minded enough to attend the movie with a fan of the Hufflepuff House.
Midnight Harry Potter premiers have become a tradition for LaPlant, who said she had attended all of the movies this way.
3-D or not 3-D
This time was a little different, though, because for the first time ever the movies are offered in 3-D and she jumped at the chance.
This was not the case for the people first in line at the Movieland in Schenectady, who had arrived at 6:30 p.m. to reserve the front row and were enthusiasts of the traditional format.
“3-D gives me a headache,” said Maggie Petrocci of Rotterdam, who was escorting her son and his three cousins. Echoing his mother, 15-year-old Bailey Petrocci emphatically stated, “We’re 2-D people.”
The group of five were all wearing homemade shirts that displayed the deathly hallows symbol. The shirts had been made by Abbey Hess, 17, of Rotterdam, after she had seen pictures online of people wearing similar designs. “I thought it would be a really cute idea for this,” she said.
Hess added that she would definitely cry before the end of the movie.
Further back in the line was a self-proclaimed Ron Weasley look-alike. Rotterdam resident James Carmello, 17, was holding a Quidditch broom as he held a spot in line for two other friends getting pizza on Jay Street.
The decision to bring the broom was a no brainer for him, because this was a special occasion.
“It’s a really important day. Harry Potter has been here all my childhood,” Carmello said. “It’s been there my whole life. I was always excited when a new one would come out and now it’s over.”
Since buying his ticket a week ago, Carmello had watched again all of the previous Harry Potter movies. “I watched part one two nights in a row,” he said, while predicting that he would see this movie again in theaters.
The midnight movie experience at Crossgates was brand new for Voorheesville 13-year-olds Elisabeth Bablin and Phoebe Siegel. They were dressed as Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger, with the costumes based on who their hair color matched. Both of the girls purported to act more like Lovegood, with Bablin saying, “I talk crazy most times.”
The young teens had been escorted by Siegel’s mom, who was holding their seats shortly after 9 p.m. as they wandered the lobby. Siegel said they had been quizzing her mom on trivia before the movie. “She’s read the books, but she’s not as big a fan,” Siegel said.
As for the mature themes of the film, the two girls didn’t seem bothered.
“We’ve watched scarier movies,” Siegel said. “I just watched ‘127 Hours,’ which was disturbing.”
According to the Associated Press, the last Harry Potter midnight premiere in November of 2010 brought in $24 million. That movie, based on statistics from the box office tabulator website “Box Office Mojo,” went on to gross $125 million during its opening weekend, which was about $25 million more than the next biggest weekend in the series history.