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Hundreds attended the midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter movie Tuesday
Potter group
Harry Potter fans attend the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth movie in the series of seven, dressed as characters from the movie. From left to right: Sydney Marsh - a Slytherin Quidditch player, Kathy Rice - Professor Trelawney, Van Heath - Harry Potter, Kelly Nielson - Hedwig, Harry's owl, and Erin Trenice - Hogwarts Headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore. - photo by ARAINA REAVES/Staff

Harry Potter group

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    Tuesday night was an exciting night for Harry Potter fans who had been eagerly awaiting the release of the fifth movie in the Harry Potter series.  
    "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"  was released in the U.S.  Wednesday, and Carmike Cinemas Statesboro 12 held a midnight showing for those who could not wait another day.
    When 659 people came to the midnight show and formed a line that wrapped half way around the outside of the building, it took seven theaters, five of which were full, to house all of the Potter fans.
    One group of people was so enthused by the new movie that they showed up in Potter attire.  The group's members were dressed up as Professor Dumbledore, Hedwig the owl, a Slytherin Quidditch player, Professor Trelawney, and of course, Harry himself.
    Sydney Marsh,  the Slytherine Quidditch player look-a-like, admitted that she loves attending midnight showings.
    "I'm a big fan of the midnight showing," Marsh said. "You can dress up and go hang out and watch the movie with all the other Harry Potter geeks."
    Erin Trerice, who came as Dumbledore, confessed that she and the others in the group really enjoyed dressing up as the characters and coming to the movie together.
    "We just really get into it," Trerice said. "We even go around town dressed like this."
    Van Heath, Harry Potter's double,  was curious to see if the movie "Order of the Phoenix" would include most of the book.
    "I hope this movie includes more of the book," Heath said. "They seem to leave out a lot of things in the movies."
    Another fan, Matthew Tyler, shared Heath's concern.
    "They should put more things from the books into the movies," Tyler said. "The books are better than the movies."
    Kathy Rice,  better known as Professor Trelawney Tuesday night, already knew the movie would leave out details.
    "The movies never live up to the books," Rice said. "I expect a lot of things to be left out."
    Marsh had advice for all Potter fans.
    "You have to remember to separate the movies from the books and think of them as two different things because the movies leave out so much," she said.
    As for why they liked the Harry Potter movies, the fans could not easily give one answer. However, the group came to the consensus that one reason the movies are so good is because they have been very well cast.
    "Moaning Myrtle is great in the movie," said Heath. "The way she was portrayed and the person they picked for her character is good. I really love it."
    In a post-movie interview, Marsh said that the movie surpassed all of her expectations.
    "The movie, while leaving out a bunch of stuff from the book, was entertaining and fast-paced, and just fun to watch," she said.
    Marsh also commented about the audience during the midnight showing. She said the audience is both quiet and attentive, but also talking and interacting with the movie.
    "That's why I like midnight showings so much," Marsh said. "While people want to catch every detail of the film they can, there's a lot more audience interaction with the movie. Laughter, applause, oohs and ahhs, and comments you don't usually get when you go see a movie on a Tuesday afternoon."
    Marsh had a word of warning to Harry Potter fans who planned to see the movie.
    "If you're going to see the book, "Order of the Phoenix," (on screen) you're going to hate it. But if you're going to see  a fun Harry Potter movie, you'll have a great time.
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book, is being released July 21, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth movie in the series of seven, is currently set to be released November 21, 2008.
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