The hot ticket in town last week was to the midnight showing of the final movie about Harry Potter.
The movie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was broken into two segments – the first part was released last November and the second on July 15.
Rosa Theatre was among those that had a midnight showing. Tickets for the midnight show went on sale about two weeks ahead of time. The 100 seats sold out within four days.
Last Thursday, July 14, people arrived hours before midnight to line up outside the theater.
“I love these movies. It’s 11 years of my life,” said Lisa Fadden.
The 22-year-old Milwaukee woman sat on the sidewalk in front of the theater, wearing a film-quality Gryffindor black robe. First in line, she was in the area for a family camping trip. Her cousin works at the theater and got tickets for the group of nine.
“We pulled up at 6 p.m. No one was here. We went to Dairy Queen for an hour and then came back,” she said.
Fadden graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College last May with an associate degree in animation and said she was in sixth grade when her teacher read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the class. That was J.K. Rowling’s first book in the series of seven books.
“I was the picked-on, bullied kid,” said Fadden, who at age 10 found out she has dyslexia.
That book had an impact on her.
“I love Harry. I like the fact that she (Rowling) had nothing. She wrote them (the stories) in notebooks. I just think for somebody like me, it shows you can do it – that if you stay true to yourself, you can do it. She gives me something to look up to. She’s a good role model,” said Fadden, who will now seek a bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Liz Kelley, of Waupaca, was in third grade when she was given the first three books in the series.
“My grandma gave them to me, and then, I was hooked,” she said. “It was just different then anything I had read before. They (the characters) were about the same age as I.”
Like many fans of J.K. Rowling’s series, Kelley literally grew up with the characters, reading the books as they were released and then subsequently seeing those characters come to life on the big screen.
Now 20, she was among those who bought tickets for last week’s midnight showing of the final installment of the series.
Also in attendance was Brad Tischendorf.
He graduated from Waupaca High School in May, and this fall will head to Carroll College in Waukesha.
“I started reading them around second grade. Harry Potter got me started on reading,” he said. “I read them all a couple times. They put you in a different world. They were written so well that they put you right in Harry Potter’s shoes. When the books were done, I didn’t want it to end.”
Linda Hagen, also of Waupaca, was there with her children, Emilie and Michael.
She read the books to her children when they were young and also read each of them twice herself. She listened to the audiotapes of the books, and, of course, has seen the movies.
The Hagens held a movie marathon before heading downtown for the midnight showing.
“We started Wednesday night around 9 p.m.,” said 18-year-old Emilie. “We watched two and started about noon today. We watched three more. We didn’t quite get through all of them.”
Emilie said what she liked about the books is that everything fit perfectly.
“Things that came up in the first book came up in the last book,” she said.
Her mother said that is why she read each of the books two times. “After I knew the whole story, I picked up things in the beginning. I realized the significance. It was such a well-crafted story. I think it’s the classic good versus evil with good being triumphant,” she said.
Paula Resop, of Waupaca, also likes the good versus evil theme.
She went to the movie with her children and her neighbor, Denise Seefeldt.
“I read all the books. I read them with the kids and would read the rest at night, because I couldn’t wait,” Resop said. “I think it’s something the family can share together.”
Seefeldt enjoyed getting to know the characters in the stories and also liked the balance between good and bad.
As Resop sat in the theater, waiting for the movie to begin, she said, “I’m feeling a little sad. We had this for 10 years – reading the books, watching the movies. I’m waiting for her to write something else.”