Just Another Day at the Movies

West Palm Beach – There was no mob scene. No lines, no one buying tickets and no costumed fans anxiously awaiting the opening doors. In fact, there was hardly anybody at the Muvico Parisian at City Place before 11 p.m. It was hard to believe that this was the grand opening of one of the most anticipated films of the year: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Maybe people in West Palm aren’t Harry Potter fanatics, or maybe they’re just smart enough to buy their tickets online. Unlike other local theaters down South, this Muvico got all the quiet and reserved HP fans.

With five theaters inside the 20-plex devoted to Harry Potter – four regular and the grand opening of an I MAX theater – three were sold out my 9 p.m. Muvico staff starting to prepare for the anticipated mob scene, roping off an area four lines deep for fans to anxiously wait in line to get in.

But a line didn’t start forming until 11:30 p.m. – just a half hour before the movie was to start. And when the line filled, it barley pasted two turn-styles.

The “laser light show” Muvico promoted was really just a projector flashing green lights on the side of the building. While it did say “Harry Potter Opening Night” and “See it in I MAX” from 9 p.m. on, the only reason people bothered to look at is was for the 60-second count down to when they could go in and sit down.

More depressing than the light show was the lack of fans dressed in costume. Three people walked by with “I love Harry” drawn on their shirts and one girl had a witch’s cape thrown across her shoulders but there was no Harry, no Hermione and no Dumbledore.

“I’m disappointed that no one is dressed up,” Palm Beach Gardens resident Dylan Nicholas says. “I’m not that much of a Potter freak and I’m 20-years-old so I didn’t, but I really really like Harry Potter.”

While the costumes weren’t great, fans seemed to be impressed by the level of enthusiasm inside the theater.

“I was disappointed with the lack of dressing up,” says Robert Jacobson, a University of Florida junior. “But the people in the theater were really into to it – plus the movie was sweet.”

Jacobson’s brother, TJ Jacobson, thinks fans are waiting for the book opening on July 21 to dress up in their Potter garb.

“The book is where it all started,” Jacobson says. “More people will dress up for the book opening because there is more of an emotional connection.”

Carly Burns, a Lake Worth High School senior, says she also plans to wait for the book opening to dress up.

“I started reading the books in fourth grade and grew up with them,” Burns says. “The books surpass the movies by far. Dressing up for the book opening is much more meaningful.”

J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released July 21.

For more information about the book release, check out Rowling’s web site. Visit the Warner Bros. Studios site for more info about the movies.