Harry Potter: More than 100 line up to see newest kids’ thriller

Published 4:04 pm Saturday, June 5, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- With the opening day of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the last day of school for Niles Community Schools both falling on Friday, it was a good thing for ticket sales.
The Ready Theater's first showing at 12:50 p.m. looked like a tough ticket with a long line of fans wrapping around the entire store front of the theater on Friday afternoon.
But, the flood of Harry Potter fans that waited outside to see the newest big screen installment of J.K. Rowling's fantasy series was no surprise to employees of the Ready Theater.
With 80 presold tickets and people waiting outside on the sidewalk before noon, Russell expected the 322 seat theater to sell out for the opening show and for the rest of the weekend as well.
Friday afternoon's showing marked the second viewing for Niles resident Donna Simmons, who went to South Bend to see the film at midnight on Thursday night.
But, the fact that Simmons was seeing it for the second time in less than 24 hours was a good sign that she enjoyed the movie.
The biggest draw of the Harry Potter series among the fans waiting outside seemed to be the fantasy world that Rowling has created for her readers.
Azzaria Gunn, 14, who just finished up her last school day at Ring Lardner, agreed that the make-believe world was her favorite aspect.
Though 15-year-old Nathan Snyder is a bigger fan of the books than the movies, he does enjoy seeing the pages come to life through a live action film.
Sarah Earl, 15, thinks the first two movies were pretty accurate adaptations and was excited to see how a new director would impact the third movie.
Earl's fascination with the Harry Potter world all started when she picked up the first book.
While the popularity was obvious in the line outside the Ready on Friday, there are many opponents to the series who say the sorcery and magic of Harry Potter is glorifying the practice of witchcraft.
Michael Kirby, who brought his three children to see the movie, disagrees with this outlook.
LaFon Davis, who also disagrees that the books and movies promote witchcraft, thinks it is great that the Harry Potter series has done so much to encourage reading with kids.