‘Potterdelphians’ share joy and sorrow on ‘Hallows’ eve

    Movie-goers will don Gryffindor cloaks for the last time as they wait in line. Midnight Friday marks the official end to the 10-year fantasy book and film series, Harry Potter. The global phenomenon has yielded eight films and countless fans. And, yes, they will stand in line at midnight holding tickets they bought days ago for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”

    Some of Philadelphia’s biggest fans brought the series to life by creating Potterdelphia—a social organization where Potter fans discuss the books’ theories, characters and more. Potterdelphia members also volunteer for organizations supporting children’s literacy and education.

    At midnight, they’ll make their penultimate appearance at the United Artists Riverview Theater on Columbus Boulevard. Next weekend they plan to watch the matinee screening—a second viewing, “while we’re more awake,” Potterdelphia member, Lorrie Kim, said.

    Many Potterdelphians are out of town this weekend, some at LeakyCon near the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at the Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. LeakyCon is a charity conference organized by the Leaky Cauldron, a Harry Potter fan base that benefits charities. This year, LeakyCon will benefit the Harry Potter Alliance and Book Aid International. Potterdelphians plan to reconvene in a week to report their on-location Potter experience.

    “There is only a moderate sense that this is the end of anything,” Kim said. “Harry Potter fandom is so huge and multifaceted that the films are only one branch.”

    Refusing to accept the end seems to be a trend among fans.

    ‘A little bit in denial’

    “I think I’m a little bit in denial. I think I’m still expecting another book to come out,” Holly Kinnamont said. The 20-year-old self-proclaimed “obsessed Harry Potter fan” from Swarthmore College has been reading Harry Potter books since she was 8 years old. She recalls pulling all-nighters to devour the books and finish just as her parents left to work in the morning.

    Tonight she’ll bid farewell to a part of her childhood. “I think I’m just going to pick up a yellow dress, find wings and be a golden snitch,” Kinnamont said of her costume for the screening.

    But once the film is over tonight, what do Potter fans do to commemorate the end of an era?

    “I think we’ll probably analyze the movie, talk about our feelings and cry,” Kinnamont said.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.