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Harry Potter’s magic returns

John HartShanna Orovitz and her daughter Danna, 9, of Nevada City buy tickets for the Friday afternoon showing of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" from Mike Foss, working in the ticket booth at the Del Oro theater.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The magic revived Friday evening when 500 people packed Grass Valley’s Del Oro theater to watch the second Harry Potter movie.

Fans of the books about the 11-year-old wizard-in-training started buying tickets six weeks ago for the first 6:45 p.m. showing of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” said Daniel Allen, the theater’s general manager.

But some left in tears – including a Girl Scout Troop and 8-year-old Rose Trichell of North San Juan – when the 8:15 showing was canceled.



The second print of the movie the Del Oro received had Spanish subtitles, Allen said. That sunk plans to run the film on two screens. Allen gave the Girl Scouts and their parents passes to another showing with abject apologies.

Among the fortunate 500 were Corie Mortara, 10, and Aaron Keane, 11, both of Grass Valley, who read the books, saw the first Harry Potter movie and heard the graphics were better in the second.




Once the ticket purchase was achieved, popcorn was next.

Dan Felix waited in a long concession line – off-duty employee Johnny DeLuca was pressed into service for the exceptional crowd – because his wife Joanne Felix is a Harry Potter fan. He bought their tickets at 9:45 a.m. Friday. Father Simon Twomey of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, “a big Harry Potter fan” who’s read all the books, also waited in a line some recoiled at.

“Oh, too crazy,’ said Alesia Sampson of Grass Valley.

“Wow! I don’t need it that bad!” said another woman.

One youth said to friends when he surveyed the dark, packed theater “This is a mess. How is this going to be possible?”

It was.

“There’s something that happens to people when it’s on that big screen,” Allen said about movies.

After a trailer for an Eddy Murphy movie, the eerie “Harry Potter” score brought forth loud applause and shushes for a respectful silence.


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