‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ Spellbinds the Nation

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    By Jordan Imlah

    Kids and adults running around wearing face paint, waving wands, holding brooms and donning capes and cloaks, all the while eating candy, might seem like a scene straight from Halloween.

    It”s actually the typical scene at movie theaters across the nation with the release of the latest installment in the Harry Potter film series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” opening today.

    Every theater contacted reported selling out the Harry Potter showings scheduled for opening day as well as most of the showings for Thursday and Saturday.

    “We sold out our Wednesday midnight showings two weeks in advance,” said Troy Taylor, manager at the Cinemark theater in Provo Towne Centre.

    Waiting in line for tickets has become a thing of the past with creation of advanced ticket sales, but the theater still has long lines of people waiting to get into the theater and get a good seat, Taylor said.

    “It”s a crazy time … but we love the excitement and how busy it is,” he said. “It makes the movie-going experience a little more exciting.”

    For those looking for a new Harry Potter movie-going experience, the Megaplex Theatre in Jordan Commons in South Jordan is offering the “Order of the Phoenix” in IMAX 3D.

    It”s the first time Harry Potter has been shown in 3D, which will make the experience quite a bit better, said Sherry Fullmer, human resources administrative assistant and eight-year employee of Megaplex.

    Approximately 30 minutes of the movie”s finale will be shown in 3D and glasses, resembling over-sized sunglasses, will be passed out to moviegoers to enjoy the experience, Fullmer said.

    “There are more people trying to come to the 3D shows,” Fullmer said. “It”s a better experience, and we have reserved seating, so you don”t have to worry about waiting in long lines to get a good seat.”

    The IMAX 3D experience is more expensive than a normal movie theater and you don”t get to keep the 3D glasses, but it”s definitely worth it, said Fullmer.

    “The 3D glasses cost the theatre over $75 a piece, but they are definitely better than the old paper, blue and red glasses,” Fullmer said.

    Theaters have also reported hiring extra staff in anticipation for the increase during this busy time.

    “We”ve hired more people just for opening day and to get us through the next couple weeks,” Taylor said.

    While the film opening creates momentary madness, movie goers are still enthusiastic, Fullmer said.

    “Things can get a little chaotic, but … it”s still a great experience,” Fullmer said. “It”s fun to see the excitement and everybody in their costumes.”

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