Midnight showings draw crowds

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Opening day for a new movie brings with it big crowds, long lines and an army of dedicated fans.

Series like “Twilight,” “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games” are well known for their draw of crowds for the midnight showing. Hours before the movie starts, hundreds of fans rush to the theater, some even dressed like the movie characters, and wait in line with eager anticipation for the doors to open. While the midnight showing might seem like a late-night waste of time to some,  others think it’s the best way to see a new movie.

“I think it’s the excitement,” Alex Bressler, a business and Russian double-major, said. “Everyone there is kind of die-hard, and everyone who’s there really wants to be there.”

Bressler said he goes to midnight showings because he doesn’t like when other people see a movie he really wants to see before he does and then have to listen to them talk about how great it was.

That’s why he attended the midnight showing of “Skyfall” last week. He said he bought his tickets two weeks in advance and then got to the theater an hour early before the big line began to form behind him.

But an hour in advance is pretty modest compared to Ashley McEwen, from Bountiful, who waited nine hours for the midnight showing of the last J.K. Rowling  installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2.”

“I got there at 2:30 in the afternoon, it was the dead of summer and brutally hot,” McEwen said.

McEwen and her friends played games and watched a movie on her laptop while they waited outside the theaters, as well as admire all the dedicated fans in their “Harry Potter” costumes.

“For the record, I did not dress up,” McEwen said.

While McEwen might not have been so bold with her “Harry Potter” enthusiasm, Cami Russell, an elementary education student from Las Vegas, was proud to flaunt her costume.

“It was super fun because we had a huge group and we all dressed up like ‘Harry Potter’ characters,” Russell said. “At one point we even ran around having a wizards duel. I was Bellatrix Lestrange and shouted ‘I killed Sirius Black.'”

Russell said she enjoys midnight showings because she doesn’t want people to ruin a movie for her by talking about it or posting give-aways on Facebook. Plus, she doesn’t want to be one of those people who hasn’t seen it yet.

But now that many theaters are doing reserved seating, perhaps the size of future pre-show crowds will dwindle.

Russell thinks that a higher number of people will come just before the movie starts, but there will still be some who come early, just to be a part of the excitement and the crowd talking about the movie — and there will definitely still be people dressing up.

“Midnight showings are super exciting and fun, and everyone should experience it at least once in their life,” Russell said.

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