Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Theaters Get Set for Harry Potter

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Theaters Get Set for Harry Potter

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Soergel, Times-Union staff writer

If you want to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this weekend, you'll be able to: It'll be everywhere. The story of the boy wizard opens tomorrow on a record 3,500 screens in North America.

But getting in to see him might not be without its problems.

Theater managers across Jacksonville say Potter fans should expect lines this weekend.

They're urging patrons to buy tickets today if they can and to show up early -- very early -- for the show.

"I would say buy your tickets in advance and then show up an hour ahead of your show time," said Paul Finley, manager of the Regal Avenues 20.

His reasoning: Even if you buy a ticket in advance, your job is not over. Your ticket may be guaranteed, but your seat won't be. You could end up in the neck-breaking first few rows or split up from the rest of your party if you show up late.

Potter-philes should also be flexible. Those who haven't already bought tickets may find there's no room left for the 7:30 show tomorrow night. But in this age of multiplexes, it shouldn't be a major problem.

"Typically there might be a sell-out, but there will be another show time coming right up," said Randy Bratt, managing director of AMC Orange Park 24. That theater has the movie booked for five screens and 1,700 seats, about 45 percent of its entire complex.

Regal's Avenues 20 cinema, meanwhile, is reserving six of its screens for Harry Potter tomorrow. The first showing begins at 10 a.m., the last at 10:40 p.m.

In all, the theater will show the film 25 times in one day.

Some theaters in more crowded parts of the country are reporting sold-out shows throughout the weekend, just from advance sales. That's not a problem on the First Coast yet, though at Cinemark Tinseltown USA, several shows on Saturday and Sunday have been sold out for more than a week, with entire auditoriums bought up by corporations (other screens there are still open to the public). …

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