Joe and I went to go see Harry Potter 7 (well, Part 1 of Part 7) the other day. Now, I enjoy the whole HP enterprise but wouldn’t say I’m fanatical about it. I read all the books, have seen all the movies and think the theme park section at Universal is done well enough where I was willing to get a Annual Pass to Universal Studios this past summer. However Joe (definitely a HP geek) was going to see the midnight showing of the film, as was a friend of ours from singing, M., so I agreed to go too.

After a nice nap earlier in the evening (there was no other way this 44y/o body was going to be able to stay up ’til 3am) and getting dinner out of the way, we wound up at the theater much earlier than intended – about 10pm. We called M…it was so early that he was still at home (and rightfully so – we expected to get there around 11ish, not 10!) so we told him to take his time and we would amuse ourselves until he got there.

Since we were seeing the movie at the Universal Citiwalk AMC theater, we walked around Citiwalk (Universal Studio’s shopping, dining and entertainment district) for a little while. There really wasn’t much for us, though…we weren’t going to eat anymore so the restaurants and snack places were out of the question. The clubs all had a cover charge and most were not the kind of places where we would hang out anyway. And the stores? Shrug…the place that sold Universal Studios crap is useless to us and the clothing stores like Quicksilver, well, I think I was too old to shop there 20 years ago, never mind nowadays. So within a half-hour we were back at the theater, where we sat down and waited for M.

Joe is not much of a people watcher but I am. This was the perfect opportunity and MAN, did I get an eyeful! First I saw someone from when I used to go to the Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island…anyone remember “KISS Guy,” who used to hang out all over PI? (for years he had KISS everything…jacket, hair, everything but the makeup. We never knew his name so we dubbed him “KISS Guy”) Looks like Citiwalk is his new digs. Then we saw “Bedazzler Dude,” a spooky 50-something guy who we saw with our singing friends at the Blue Martini nightclub several months ago (who we also later saw on, and I kid you not, Don’t believe me? Click Here. Top pic.). Over at Blue Martini he was getting his groove on while he was all gussied up with rhinestones on his shirt but today he was decked out in red hot pants and a tan taxi driver’s hat as he undoubtedly hustled over to The Groove (they play retro stuff there). Oh, and then the Harry Potter fans started showing up in droves…middle-aged women in dark robes with 2′ tall witch’s hats…kids (late teens/early 20’s) in full Hogwarts regalia (all 4 Houses were present, mainly Gryffindor, of course)…someone in what could have passed as an authentic Beauxbaton costume…some chick even made herself a Hedwig costume and, as per the local TV broadcast that she got onto (where, ahem, she “hooted” on camera), she had sewn all the freakin’ feathers on it. By hand, no less. (No, really. Click Here for a picture) Now granted, the costume was beautifully done but geez, someone must’ve had a little too much time on her hands, ya know? Oh, and I saw a few more familiar faces from Pleasure Island…the friend of “sign language girl” (the dancer, not the baker), as well as the mother and daughter team with the symbiotic relationship…who, yes, were in costume and whose giggles are as grating as ever. Everyone was abuzz, visiting everyone else, trying to be near the TV cameras and the people making their video blogs on the fly. Being many, many years past any sort of “I’m going to dress up for this special event” (OK, I did wear my Hufflepuff baseball cap, if that counts for anything. But it’s not like when I was in my early 20’s and used to wear orange and turquoise to Monkees conventions because that was Peter Tork’s favorite color combination…and even that wasn’t anywhere near the same level as sewing feathers onto an owl costume), it was, well, let’s just say it was all a sight to behold.

Fortunately, the costume party atmosphere stopped when the movie started – just as the last time I went to a midnight showing, the audience was awesomely so, so quiet throughout the film. I wasn’t in the same theater as the witches so I don’t know if they removed their hats or not ;-). For the sake of those behind them, I sure hope they did.

The movie was good although, as always, I liked the book better. Joe is going to see it again later this week – I’ll be putting up Christmas decorations that day, thank-you very much ;-). But I know we’ll eventually have it on video and I’ll learn it, almost by heart, via osmosis as Joe watches and re-watches it.

It won’t be the same if he’s not in a handmade Hedwig costume, though. Maybe I can get him one of those for Christmas…