Mr. Potter Goes to Washington

Friday, November 19. 12:02 a.m.

Harry! Harry! Harry!

Yes, for those of you who missed it somehow amid minor distractions like the persistently faltering economy, overpriced coffee, and the possible end of your mortgage deduction, last night at exactly 12:01 a.m., the last but one installment of the Harry Potter blockbuster-novel-turned-blockbuster- movie franchise hit all 14 screens at the Georgetown Loews Cineplex.

Well, to be exact, it hit at 12:19 because there are 18 minutes of previews at the start of the two hour and 40 minute runtime.

“All Things Media” couldn’t let the biggest media happening of the year happen without some kind of… thing.

So filing this under the “we stayed up so you didn’t have to” (with apologies for malaproping the Post’s tv columnist’s favorite line), the entire staff of All Things Media gallantly waded into the crowds lining K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway.

It was to be mayhem. Dancing in the street. Quiddich on K. I unfortunately am young enough to remember the original Rocky Horror Picture Show. And to have at least seen the footage of the Beatles at Shea Stadium.

So there was to be pandemonium at 11:30 between Wisconsin and 31.

Nope. Nothing. No crowds. No dancing. No broomsticks.

“Sorry, we started letting them in around 8:30, said a cinema employee, let’s call him “Mr. we can’t speak officially, you will have call headquarters No. 1.”

“It would have been too much. 3,000 people in 14 screens. And we have another showing at 3.30am.” How is that one doing, I asked. “Just sold out one, got another filling and we will keep opening as they come.”

But what about the dancing in the street? the crowds? My story?

“Sorry. They started lining up around 5:30pm.” said No.1, “But you are welcome to hang out if you want. This is about as much mayhem as we will get.”

Mayhem indeed ensued. It is tough to keep a large popcorn and two sodas balanced when someone eight inches shorter than you is drawing a mascara Potter scar on your forehead. There was indeed one sighting of a broom and a dressing gown, but the lone wearer looked like he was regretting his one-man effort to get into the spirit.

“The biggest issue for us is keeping up with the popcorn,” said “Mr. we can’t speak officially, you will have call headquarters No. 2.”, before trying to defer my questions to higher authority.

Now, if you had some house elves…problem solved.

Instead it was just college kids, a smattering of high schoolers and one or two adults who were bringing the ones they did not trust out alone. All far too orderly. Something of which the minister of magic would have approved (for those unread of All Things Potter, that is not a good thing).

Upon leaving, there was one last glimmer of hope. Or ember, I should say. Two college students were smoking on a bench as time wore down to H-Hour (as in Harry Hour). Were they so determined to get into the spirit that they came without tickets just to be there?

“Nah. We are about to head in. Didn’t feel like fighting the crowds.”

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