A look back at my introduction to Harry Potter

So I mentioned in my Banned Books post for "Banned Book Week" about Harry Potter, but I thought I would share some more about my interest in the series for this week's Flashback Friday since Harry Potter and the Really Long Camp Trip, er Deathly Hallows (part 1) is officially in theaters today!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PilLsvJGgm8/THaA2iJUj1I/AAAAAAAAAUY/CMmRKdwVVJ0/s1600/Harry+Potter+and+the+Goblet+of+Fire+by+J+K+Rowling.jpgI wasn't aware of the series until book 4 - Goblet of Fire - was released in summer 2000. I remember there being articles in our newspaper about kids and parents lining up and going crazy trying to get copies of the book, etc. I had never heard of them before so I had no idea what the fuss was and just assumed it was some hot kiddie book.

The first film - Sorcerer's Stone - was released the Thanksgiving of my senior year in high school. Going to a private Christian school, I remember the students and faculty were torn, as 1/3rd loved the series while another 1/3 thought they promoted sorcery and witchcraft and the other 1/3 just didn't really care (I was in this group). The sorcery and witchcraft argument won out though and the books were banned from our school library although you could bring your own from home and read them on your own time.

Personally, I thought the series was more geared towards kids so I didn't really have much of an interest in them.

It wasn't until the 3rd movie - Prisoner of Azkaban - came out while I was in college that I changed my mind.

The guy I was dating at the time (my least favorite ex), while he proudly admitted he never finished a single book in his life, he did enjoy the Harry Potter movies and really wanted me to come with him and his siblings to see the movie when their grandma was in town visiting, as she always visited and took them to the latest Harry Potter movies. I agreed and we got me caught up on the first 2 movies so I would know what happened and not be clueless.

I enjoyed them and decided to see the rest of the movies as they came out.

I remember going to the midnight showing of Goblet of Fire with my longterm college roommate and my boyfriend at the time. We didn't dress up, but we had fun regardless.

It was the following summer that I started reading the books, as I returned to working at the movie theater and spent most of that summer working projection and then in the fall I worked the box office booth during the weekdays and projection on the weekends. The rule was you could bring a book or homework with you up to projection so long as you started the films on time and did regular projector checks (as we were still 35mm back then). And same with working box office - you could read or do homework during the slow time so long as there was nothing theater-related that needed to be done. My longterm roommate had them all and let me borrow them.

It took me awhile to get through the first book, but once I did I was able to work rather quickly through the remaining 5 (book 7 wasn't out yet).

http://humboldtherald.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenix-poster-1.jpgBy the time Order of the Phoenix came out, I was all caught on the books and I got to screen the movie too as I was management by that point. I remember watching the movie with the other management staff (with the exception of our GM as he always watched movies he really wanted to see in a theater by himself as he hated the commentary and laughter the rest of us would make throughout our screenings). Me and the other female manager had read the books, so it was funny as we would start yelling at the screening when something wasn't the same in the book - the other 2 guy managers (who hadn't read the books) eventually told us to shut up, lol...

Working the midnight for that one was fun. My ex and I had broke up awhile prior, but I remember he showed up with my roommate and her boyfriend (who was my ex's roommate). Luckily I was busy keeping track of how many people we were letting into each theater, as we were digital by this point and could show the film on every screen if needed, however each theater only seated so many people which is why someone had to count each person as the ticket taker tore their tickets.

http://blog.paulomernik.com/potter_9800r6.jpgI remember when book 7 finally came out. Half the theater staff had bought the book the night it came out and several employees were pretty much racing each other to see who would finish first (Jessi, from Musings of a Wannabe Star, finished first I believe). The GM, being a Harry Potter fan, had declared that reading the book and bringing it to work was fine, so long as you put it away when the slow periods were over and did your job when customers were around. He also declared that anyone who spoiled the ending would be in big trouble, as when book 6 came out, an ex manager who stayed up all night came running into the building the next morning, shouting "Snape kills Dumbledore!" just to piss everyone off! lol... (I didn't know what that meant at the time as I hadn't read the books yet, however I did have a roommate ruin that for me, as she knew I was only on book 4 yet she blurted it out when all 3 of us roomies were discussing something Harry Potter related. She was all "oops - I thought you finished..." despite me having mentioned several times I hadn't.)

I bought book 7 when it came out and eventually went on eBay and found a seller that had the first 6 in paperback for sell for $20 so I snatched those up too so I have the whole series. I'm still waiting on owning the movies though as I'd rather get all 8 for Christmas next year in the box set you know they're going to put out.

Hubby and I were in Pennsylvania visiting relatives when Half Blood Prince opened in theaters. We decided to go to the midnight showing out there and my sis tagged along with us (I had taken her to Order of the Phoenix when I worked at the theater and got free passes). Since we were on the east coast at the time, it was fun rubbing it on Facebook to all my friends in the midwest that we were seeing it an hour before them, hehe...

With the new movie, hubby and I are planning on seeing it early next week as that works best with his schedule and we don't like paying full price for movies if we can help it. Our local AMC shows movies for $5 during the weekdays, however with Thanksgiving being next week holiday pricing starts Thursday, so we're planning on going early Wednesday evening.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/wp-content/gallery/harry-potter/HP7A-TR2-120_660.jpgI can't wait, although I remember reading an article awhile back that stated they changed the part at the beginning with Hedwig, Harry's beloved owl. While it was sad and happened right off the bat, it did sort of set the tone for the entire book, so I'm curious to see if that change was really necessary and how it affects the rest of the movie. I'm also curious to see if they include the plotlines of Bill Weasley and Flour Delacor (which was left out of the other films although they do briefly provide refuge for Harry and crew in this one), as well as Tonks and Lupin's relationship and the outcome of Hermoine's SPEW house elf coalition which was cut from the other movies although I hear the House Elves play a bit of a part in this movie. I'm also curious to see if part 1 cliff-hangs where I think it should (during Harry's run-in and capture by Belatrix at the Malfoy's).

I'll also be curious to see the reaction of people who hadn't read the books next summer after part 2 comes out, as personally, I was a little let down by the "final showdown" between Harry and Voldemort in the book - it seemed like 7 books built up to this epic showdown between them and then when it happens, it's only like a paragraph long! Hopefully the movie makes it a little longer and more epic than it actually was!

Have you read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies?
Did you rush out at midnight last night to go see #7, part 1? (please don't post any spoilers though!)

1 comment:

  1. I was also spoiled for book 6! In WoW of all places. You remember that the book leaked online a couple of days before the actual release? Well, every time I was in Stormwind I read spoilers! People were yelling it and typing it in general. Very annoying. I had to stop playing until the book was released.

    I got into HP the summer before I went off to college. Perfect timing because only a few months later, the first movie came out. I was able to find some fellow potter fans and we went to see the first showing of the movie. With straw wands :)

    I've since seen every movie at midnight and had the books the second they were available to me. And yes, I was one of the ones that rushed out to see HP7 pt 1. at midnight. I liked it a lot. I especially loved how they ended the movie. I was also curious on where they would end it. Can't wait to hear what you think!


What's your thoughts?