Magical night awaits Harry Potter fans

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | 7:11 p.m. CST; updated 12:24 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The next-to-last installment of the Harry Potter series hits movie theaters in Columbia at 12:01 a.m., Friday. Despite 15 showings from 12:01 a.m. to 1:20 a.m., there are few tickets available.

The Forum and Hollywood theaters have scheduled the first showings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"  between 12:01 and 1:20 a.m. When tickets began selling out weeks ago, both theaters continued to add shows to accommodate the demand. 

The premiere could be one of the biggest opening nights to hit Columbia movie theaters, said Hollywood Stadium 14 Theater manager Joe McKie.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 2,500 tickets had been sold. On, tickets were being offered on the local forum page for up to $20 apiece.

“We’ve been preparing for about a week and a half,” he said. “Getting ready for something like this is a pretty elaborate event.”

Potter fans are likely to show up early and in costume as Death Eaters, Aurors and members of competing student houses at Hogwarts.

“I’ll probably draw a scar on my head, wear some glasses and possibly a cape,” Alex Zaccone, 21, said. “I grew up reading Harry Potter.It’s not really something you can grow out of.”

Ala Gallup, manager of Gotcha costume shop downtown, said she has rented all of the Harry Potter costumes. 

“We did have robes and scarves in Gryffindor and Slytherin colors,” Gallup said. “They’re all gone.” 

She said she doesn't have a ticket to the premiere but hopes to snag one. 

“I’m a big Harry Potter fan,” Gallup said. “I read all of the stories out loud to my kids.”

While fans of the series are set to flood the movie theaters, some students at MU prepared for their first Quidditch match. Mizzou’s official Quidditch team staged a broom decorating party last week for its first scrimmage at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday near the columns on Francis Quadrangle. 

According to the International Quidditch Association, there are more than 75 active collegiate Quidditch teams in the United States alone, as well as teams in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Asia.

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