What started out as a story about a boy wizard has turned into a billion dollar franchise, and movie theaters across Long Island are preparing for the onslaught of wizard fans as the final “Harry Potter” movie makes its debut Friday at midnight.
Fourteen years, seven books and eight movies later, the legendary series comes to a close with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
The hype for the movie started weeks ago when theater chains like AMC released advance tickets. AMC started selling tickets about four weeks ago, according to a company spokesperson, and many of their theaters’ showings have sold out.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with the response from guests around the country,” said the spokesperson. He went on to point out that AMC sold 7 million combined tickets for the 12:01 a.m. showing among its theaters nationwide, which broke the previous record, held by the “Twilight” series’ third installment, “Eclipse.”
Long Island theaters, such as the Broadway Multiplex theater in Hicksville, are preparing for the special night in their own way. Broadway Multiplex will have five shows for Long Islanders to attend. Their first one is a 3D version at 12:01 a.m. that has sold out since tickets went on sale about two weeks ago. The 12:05 a.m. and 12:10 a.m. showings are sold out as well, but the 3D movie at 12:15 a.m. and the last showing, at 12:20 a.m., is not closed out yet. Those tickets, however, might not last long, said manager Jonathan Monaco, who believes it’s likely that they will sell out by the end of the day today.
Kirk Wilson, a theater clerk working at the ticket window Thursday afternoon, said he sold several tickets during his shift. “There’s been parents buying them for their kids, 8-year-old children with their parents getting tickets, senior citizens,” he said. “There’s been a number of sales today.”
Two fans who purchased tickets while Wilson was on shift were teenage boys who got tickets for the 12:20 a.m. showing. “I didn’t read the books but I’ve seen all the movies and I can’t wait to see how the story line ends and falls,” said one of the moviegoers.
Elwood Cinemas, on Jericho Turnpike, did not sell tickets prior to today. However, when the theater opened its doors this morning at 11 a.m., fans were able to buy tickets as early as they could get to the ticket window. Shortly after opening, the small cinema already had a line for those buying tickets to the midnight showing, which representative Nancy Montero said they expected to sell out.
Elwood Cinemas will have a 3D showing in one theater that holds 120 people and a regular version in a theater that holds 145 people, both shows at midnight. The theater is expecting people to show up an hour or more before the movie, and they will let people in as soon as the prior movie ends and the room is cleared out. Montero said employees wouldn’t be surprised to see moviegoers dressed in full Harry Potter garb when they arrive to see the show.
Wilson got an early viewing of the long-awaited movie, when Broadway Multiplex allowed its employees to see the movie Wednesday night. Without ruining any details, Wilson said the movie was “everything he wanted it to be.”