‘Harry Potter’ devotees know the magic is fading 

The end is near for “Harry Potter” fans. Die-hard devotees dressed in full Potter regalia will be queuing up in lines for today’s sold-out midnight showings of the series’ final film. But after the movie, be prepared to wait in another line — the one that will get you home.

Following midnight showings of “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1” in November, thousands of fans poured onto Financial District streets as if it were midday Saturday. Cabs were hard to find as hundreds tried hailing one along Mission and Market streets. Normally empty, Muni Owl buses were filled with people. Several were so full that drivers refused to take more passengers.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, has already sold out more than 5,000 screenings across the country via Fandango, said Harry Medved, a spokesman for the ticket-selling service. According to a 2010 company survey, the film is the most-anticipated movie of 2011.

Some fans are trying to coordinate time schedules with friends so they can see it together.

“I usually go to the first showing on the Saturday after the movie opens,” said Emily Amata, 29, who watches the newest trailer each morning during breakfast. Amata has seen the past few “Potter” movies with the same seven people.

“There’s always a lot of kids, but it’s the adults who get the crankiest about it,” she said. “People get crazy about ‘Harry Potter.’”

Other fans who normally see the first available showing are holding out to make the magic last a bit longer.

“Although I’ve traditionally dressed up in my Gryffindor garb and gone to the midnight premiere pretty much every time a movie has come out in the past, I’m trying to kind of hang onto the last movie for as long as possible,” said Samantha Deer, a self-proclaimed “Harry Potter nerd.” “So I might not see it until Friday or Saturday ... even though the extra wait might kill me.”

Fandango’s survey said 8 percent of moviegoers plan to dress up as characters, Medved said.

Deer, headmistress of the Harry Potter Club at her former high school, fondly remembers her experience from the first “Potter” movie.

“I went out to the street with my broom and began running up and down the sidewalk with a sign that said, ‘Honk for Harry,’” she said. “People in their cars actually did it and I got yelled at and almost kicked out of line by the manager of the movie theater — although I did get applauded by everyone in line.”

Deer felt nostalgic about the final installment in the series.

“It’s really sad that this is the last movie of the series because it kind of marks the end of my childhood in a way,” Deer said. “It’s depressing to see something that’s made me so happy finally come to an end.”

mbaum@sfexaminer.com

Examiner Staff Writer Andrea Koskey contributed to this report.

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