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Local fans celebrate 14 years of magic with Harry Potter

The last movie in the seven-part series airs Thursday at midnight
by:  AUSTIN HUMBLE Austin Humble, 17, plans to watch the midnight showing of the final Harry Potter movie Thursday at the Sandy Cinema. He stayed up until 6:30 a.m. Monday during a Harry Potter marathon with friends.

When Austin Humble was in second grade, his mom said she would buy him a Nintendo Game Boy if he read the first Harry Potter book.

'I was hooked,' the 17-year-old says of the first read that won him a Game Boy. Humble has since read all seven books multiple times, watched every accompanying movie and felt disappointed when he did not receive a letter at age 11 stating he was a wizard.

Thursday marks the release of the series' final movie, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,' and Humble plans to attend the midnight showing at Sandy Cinema where his sister Natalie works.

Humble is sad to reach the last movie but built up to the occasion by watching the previous seven Harry Potter movies in 17 hours. He and his friends began the movie marathon Sunday and stayed up until 6:30 a.m. Monday with a '10-minute break for food.'

'Kids like magic,' Humble says. 'It's exciting. It gives them something to believe in.'

As of Monday afternoon, Sandy Cinema had sold 150 tickets to the midnight release of Harry Potter, said Assistant Manager Lindsay Hatfield. The theater encourages all movie patrons to wear Harry Potter costumes Thursday.

' 'Twilight' gets close (to the crowd size), but more people dress up for Harry Potter,' Hatfield said. The cinema will give a poster to the best-dressed Harry Potter fan at the midnight show.

The latest movie is available in 2D and 3D, said Hatfield, and the theater offers 3D glasses.

Katie Miller, another Sandy Cinema employee, recalled the hype around the last Harry Potter movie.

'People camped out right as we opened up the theater,' Miller said. 'By the time I got to work later in the day, the line ran through the theater, outside and past Paris Café.'

Her favorite memory of that movie release was spotting someone in a full Harry Potter costume, including the circular glasses, cape and broomstick.

The Harry Potter series has sold 450 million copies across the world and is translated into 70 different languages.

For more information about the local Harry Potter release, call Sandy Cinema at 503-826-8100 or visit sandycinema.com. The cinema is at 16605 Champion Way.