FARMINGTON — More than 200 Harry Potter fans turned out Tuesday, snapping up 190 available $5 tickets within 15 minutes to see a special midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at Narrow Gauge Cinemas.

It’s the sixth of eight movies based on British author J. K. Rowling’s wildly successful “Harry Potter” book series.

Those who didn’t get tickets were told to visit Narrow Gauge’s sister cinema, the Strand in Skowhegan, which has 400 seats and is also doing a midnight showing.

First in line were five teenage girls from Farmington who arrived at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday — five hours before tickets went on sale.

“There was no one here when we came, so it was just us for about three hours,” Autumn Obomsawin said. “We’re super Harry Potter fans.”

Seated beside her at the front door on a large blue beach towel sporting a giant sun were her sister, Mali Obomsawin, and their high school friends Brianna Gelinas, Katie Lewis and Monica Danforth.

“We’re hard-core fans,” Mali Obomsawin said as the girls broke up laughing.

“And, we’ve read the books, all seven of them,” all five yelled in unison.

They had also been watching movie trailers of “Half-Blood Prince” on the Internet.

“This is so exciting,” Mali Obomsawin said. “I’ve been on YouTube so much.”

“And we’ve bought all the posters,” Gelinas said.

All five agreed that Rowling’s seventh and final book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” of which two movies are being made, was their favorite. Whereas the fourth movie, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which featured the Tri-Wizard Tournament, was their favorite flick.

Next in line was Alex Starbird of Farmington, who said he arrived at 10 a.m.

“I like the movies better than the books,” he said.

Seated in two large, comfy camp chairs around the corner in the shade were Peter Wade of Farmington, his 13-year-old daughter, Sarah, and her friend Emily Rice, 13, also of Farmington.

“This isn’t our first rodeo,” Wade said of getting in line early to wait for tickets to a midnight showing of a Harry Potter movie.

They arrived at 10:45 a.m.

“I worked last night and as I came by here and saw them all here (in line), I said, ‘Oh, my, we’ve got to get here,'” said Peter Wade, who has read all of the books and liked them all.

He said there were many more people waiting in line in 2007 for the fifth movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

Narrow Gauge ticket clerk Molly Flanagan said she sold the last ticket at 5 p.m. for that midnight showing. Not so for “Half-Blood Prince.”

“In 15 minutes, they were gone,” ticket clerk Heather Gonsior of Farmington said. “We were expecting it, but we were surprised people were in line that early, at 7:30 in the morning.”

“They were so excited and screaming that they got the first tickets,” Heather said of the five high school girls who left the cinema screaming in glee and waving their tickets in the air.

Gonsior said some of her fellow employees saw the new movie on Monday night, thanks to Narrow Gauge Cinemas.

Concession stand worker Chelsea McGraw of Farmington said she liked “Half-Blood Prince” better than “Order of the Phoenix.”

“It was more, like, entertaining,” she said. “It was, like, jumpier, scarier. It kept you on the edge of your seat.”

Wade said he was looking forward to seeing the new movie and didn’t think much of the religious hype about Harry Potter being evil.

Initially, however, because of the hype, he said that when the first movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” came out in 2001, he didn’t think it would be appropriate for his children.

“And then I saw the first move and said, ‘Wait a minute; this is just fantasy,'” he said.

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More than 200 Harry Potter fans of all ages lined up early Tuesday afternoon to buy 190 tickets to a midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at the Narrow Gauge Cinemas in Farmington.


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