Dan Herrle is a happy theater manager.
Bow Tie Cinemas 11 at the Westfield Annapolis mall sold out the midnight premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last week, a full seven days before the July 14 opening.
The early sell-out prompted theater management to add midnight showings at the Bow Tie Harbour Center 9 theaters—and those tickets are selling fast.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a sell-out this early in advance,” Herrle said. “We’ve sold 2,600 tickets at the mall and if the Harbour Center sells out that will be another 1,800 tickets.”
The possible 4,400 tickets in two Annapolis theaters are a drop in the bucket. Online movie ticket seller Fandango reported last month that advance purchases for Deathly Hallows Part 2 were 50 percent of the company’s sales with more than 2,000 venues already sold out.
“Harry Potter is like nothing else,” Herrle said. “People of all ages get into it. When we had the Twilight premier, it was mostly women. Transformers also drew a particular audience. But Harry Potter draws from all groups.”
Break out the wand and robes
When it comes to movie premiers, Greater Annapolis has a reputation.
“Annapolis is known for dressing up and really showing spirit when it comes to midnight shows” Herrle said. “I always send photos of our premiers to the corporate office and they are amazed at the level of participation. We’ve got quite a reputation for going all out.”
Bow Tie Cinema staff will be in costume on opening night and will have contests and prizes for the best dressed audience members.
Blood for tickets?
Although the Bowtie Cinema at Westfield Annapolis Mall is sold out, Anne Arundel Medical Center is holding 30 tickets for that venue to give away in exchange for a blood donation.
Blood Mobile Coordinator Alexis Innis came up with the idea to increase typically low summer blood donations.
“I would totally donate blood to see the last Harry Potter film,” Innis said. “Everyone I talked to about my idea got excited and it created dialogue—about the film, about blood, their first time experience as a blood donor. So I knew that muggles—mud-bloods and pure-bloods alike—would all be excited about this opportunity to see the film for free, and that this was going to be a very successful blood drive.”
To take advantage of this opportunity, you must make a donation appointment by calling Innis at 443-481-4272 or online through the hospital website.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent), in good health and weigh more than 110 pounds.
What to expect if you go
Herrle said he expects folks to begin lining up as soon as they open the doors at 8 a.m. Thursday. He recommended arriving no later than 8 or 9 p.m. to get the best seating.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be showing in all 11 theaters at 12:01 a.m.
“We will show our regularly scheduled movies that night, but as those movies end, we will clear the theater and seat some of the folks in line,” Herrle said. “We could begin seating as early at 6 p.m., with additional theaters opening each hour.
"It is a long time to be seated, but we have a couple of hours of preview reels to show while you wait.”
If you miss out on the midnight opening, Bow Tie Cinemas at Westfield Annapolis will open at 9 a.m. Friday, showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 every half hour in either 2D or 3D.
It is also showing in other area theaters, such as UA Movies at Marley Station and Regal Bowie Crossing Stadium 14.
Find additional theater locations on Moviefone.