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Potter fever works its magic on Auburn

Fans express excitement for final installment in wizard series
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Fans: get ready. The final chapter of an epic wizarding tale begins today. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” opened at midnight Friday, and Auburn fans were out in full force. Harry Potter is a teenage wizard who attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in England. In the last installment of the series we find Harry and his friends and loved ones fighting the ultimate battle with the evil wizard Lord Voldemort and his cohorts. The movie, which is based on the seventh book in the series by J.K. Rowling, is part one of the conclusion. The second part is expected to be released in July. Kelsey Knox, who graduated from Placer High School in 2008 and is now a junior at U.C. Santa Cruz, said she planned to attend the midnight showing with her friends in Santa Cruz. Knox and her friends made T-shirts memorializing some of the characters who die in the final chapter of the series. Knox said the Harry Potter books are a piece of her childhood, and she has grown up with Harry. “I was still in elementary school when I started reading them, and that is when they became big,” Knox said. “So, it was kind of like we followed him as he was growing up.” Knox said she has read all the books and seen all the movies. “I guess like any other book, it’s such an escape, and it’s an amazing other reality,” she said. “I think it’s the best written series of our generation. ” Knox said she enjoys going to the midnight premiers. “It’s just really fun, because you go out there really early, and you see the diehard Harry Potter fans,” she said. “I went to the midnight premier of the (seventh) book when it came out.” Auburn resident Brittany Anderson, 18, was waiting outside the Regal Auburn Stadium 10 Theater on Nevada Street Thursday afternoon for the midnight showing. Anderson said she arrived at the theater a little before 1 p.m. “I wanted to get out here so I could get good seats in the theater,” Anderson said. Anderson said she’s OK with the fact that the book was split into two movies as long as the movies are true to the books. “I kind of agree with the fact that they split it up, as long as they have enough in both movies,” she said. “I’m just excited, because I have been obsessed with these books since sixth grade, so I hope (the movies) are good.” Anderson said although she loves the main character, one of the more sinister women in the film, Bellatrix Lestrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is also entertaining. “My favorite is Harry … but since the 5th movie, Bellatrix Lestrange has kind of become one of my favorite characters … because she’s so intensely insane,” Anderson said. Anderson had another 10 hours to wait until the movie started when the Journal interviewed her, and she said she had several things to keep her busy. “I brought homework, and I think my friend is getting a game, and we are probably going to play cards or something,” she said. Rocklin resident Alyssa Birdsong, 18, who was also waiting outside the theater Thursday, said there is a special element to the Harry Potter series that makes it so appealing. “I like the whole magic spells and just this whole magical fantasy world,” Birdsong said. Birdsong said there are good and bad things about the movies. “I think they changed (parts of the story) a lot (for the movies), which I don’t really like,” she said. “They basically keep to the book, but a lot of the lines are different.” Auburn brothers Mike Jackson, 14, and Drew Jackson, 12, also waited outside the theater Thursday and brought their Harry Potter inspired wands. Drew said he was looking forward to a certain part of the movie, and was upset at the fact that the wizarding school headmaster died in the previous movie. “I’m looking forward to more battles,” Drew said. “I don’t like how (Headmaster) Dumbledore died (in the sixth movie).” Mike said there are several things about the movies and books that have attracted people all over the world. “It’s mostly the fact that they have done such a good job with the animation and the strong story line,” Mike said. “It’s the magic. J.K. Rowling is a really good writer.” Newcastle resident Martha Jacoby, 51, had been waiting outside the theater since 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning to get good seats for her, her daughters and her daughters’ friends. Jacoby said Thursday was her oldest daughter’s birthday, and they were going to celebrate it at the theater before the movie started. “I just can’t wait,” Jacoby said. “There are no regrets being here very early in the morning.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com