And so we waited.
The line wrapped almost totally around the fourteen-theater building, filled with wizards of the various houses, and even a few Dobby costumes as we anxiously waited to get in. The crowd was so insane, so large, that this small New Jersey town had police both riding bikes and walking around the crowds. One was even working for the theater.
“Theater twelve is opened now. Theater twelve,” the officer, in his blue uniform and shiny badge, was saying as he passed. We frantically looked at our tickers. Damn, we were theater nine.
And so as the officer passed the line, small groups of lucky twelves bolted from the line and ran, full speed, around the corner to the front doors. Some were smart, since we were so far behind the line, to run in the direction that was against the crowd, knowing that at the end of the line they were actually closer to the front doors if they took the other direction.
A guy walked by in a Scooby Doo costume,with a friend dressed as Mario. Me, my girlfriend and my sister were confused.
“Um,” my girlfriend said.
A young girl was annoying the shit out of us. Seriously, I’ve never wanted to smack someone more than at this moment.
“My life is going to end tonight. For real. It really is. I will want to die when this is all over. DIE. I’ve lived Harry Potter for my whole life, and tonight I will die.”
Someone in front of her was holding up a DVD player and showing part one, and I could not hear it over her shrill, constant voicing of how she would die tonight. So much for the entertainment of watching the DVD.
So time passes, this girl keeps talking about death, and they finally yell out nine, so we haul ass to the front. At the main doors, there is a clusterfuck of people trying to shove their way in; there is no method to this theater’s Harry Plan at all. Cops and ushers are trying to regain order, but to no avail. We’re shoved in between about a hundred people trying to get in while others whose theater has not been called have formed a wall, keeping us legitimate patrons out.
That’s when I realized that our fourth friend, who was stuck in traffic, would not be able to get her ticket from us.
“I have to wait out here for her” I yelled above the noise. “You guys get us seats!” I pushed my way to the back of this cluster as they continued to push forward. Then waited for my phone to ring. She finally called about ten minutes later and I found her.
“They called our theater. We just have to push through this,” I said, pointing to the wall of people. Her eyes widened.
That’s when I noticed a girl with pink hair who seemed to know the trick. She stood out from the crowd and I could see her making her way through rather easily, and I said to my friend, “We need to follow her!”
I pushed my way through until I was behind her, and just as I caught up to the pink-haired girl, a path opened and she, her friend and the two of us poured through the crowd and easily made our way in.
The concession lines were small and we needed soda since the film was almost three hours and it was already midnight, so I called the others, who gave me drink orders and told us where they were sitting. A short while later and we were in the theater looking for them. My sister got up and waved, so we started to make our way. When I got to the row, I stopped. The annoying girl was sitting right next to us.
“Seriously?” I asked my girlfriend.
“She sat down after we did! It couldn’t be helped!”
And so I slumped into my seat and waited for the movie. It was a blast, the wait. I love the midnight show for two reasons. One, everyone is SO excited and acts nuts. Two, many dress up. It was intense.
“When I say Harry you say Potter!” a girl yelled.
“POTTER!” the whole crowd yelled. It was cute.
During the actual film, which I loved, the obnoxious girl was crying the whole second half. Maybe crying isn’t the right word. Sobbing. Uncontrollably. To the point her mom said “Shut up!” to her. I wanted to clap.
After the film, everyone clapped, cheered and cried a bit. It was over. A big part of our lives had just ended, and there was nothing we could do but get in our cars, go home and dream of Harry, Hermoine and Ron. And Neville…let’s not forget Neville, who finally got to be the hero he deserved to be.
This makes me feel infinitely better about not seeing it at the midnight release. I waited till Saturday night to see it, and then again on Monday afternoon. My experience was definitely less chaotic.
It really is an end of an era.