TAMPA — In a scene replayed in theaters nationwide, Harry Potter fans lined up Thursday, early and eager, to witness the conclusion of a phenomenon.
Midnight screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 were the hottest tickets in every town.
First in line at AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa were Savannah Zaworski, 15, and Emily Daboll, 16, wearing Dobby t-shirts and grasping not-so-magic wands. The Gaither High School students arrived at 5 p.m. — seven hours before showtime.
"We wanted to be first in line and get good seats," Zaworski said, sitting among nearly 200 fellow Potterphiles who played cards, pecked on iPads, ate pizza and shared anticipation for the cinematic finale of a cultural touchstone.
Many wore Hogwarts neckties or Harry's iconic scarf and glasses. One dressed in the goth robes and coal-black hairdo of Severus Snape, the enigmatic professor who's key to Harry's final confrontation with the evil Lord Voldemort. Like Zaworski and Daboll, they contemplated the climax of a literary and cinematic era.
"It's not going to be the end," Zaworski said. "It's always going to be there. There won't be another premiere but it's going to be there forever."
Zaworski watched the film's recent London red carpet premiere online, and "they said (the series) went out with a bang," which is what she looked forward to witnessing.
Daboll was asked what she expected from the movie, and her reply was succinct:
"A dead Voldemort."
Elsewhere in Tampa, a mob scene began to form at the Muvico Centro Ybor theater as a power outage kept fans who'd bought their tickets online from picking getting inside.
Power was restored about 11:45 p.m., but previews didn't begin until about 1:40 a.m. after tickets were issued and everyone was seated.
Tampa Electric's web site said the Muvico was the only Ybor business experiencing the outage