Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows enchants fans

Young people say nine years on from the first film's release, the magic is still there, as sold-out showings around the Emirates prove.

DUBAI // The Harry Potter movie franchise shows little sign of losing its magic nine years since the release of the first film, as moviegoers yesterday queued to see the latest instalment. A steady stream of fans crowded ticket stalls at cinemas for the seventh movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the first in a two-part conclusion.

Darshana Dhakan, a 25-year-old from India, said she had been eagerly awaiting its release since January.

"Despite the time since the first film, I don't think the release of a Harry Potter movie is any less exciting," she said, clutching a pair of tickets outside Mall of the Emirates CineStar cineplex. "I'm not a diehard fan, but I've watched most of the films almost as soon as they are released."

The lion's share of screens at cinemas across the country were devoted to the release of the film, and "sold out" notices were posted for several screenings in the mall by lunchtime.

"It's showing everywhere, wherever there is a cinema," said Roy Chacra, the general manager of Shooting Stars, the movie's distributor in the Emirates. "It will be showing in 26 multiplexes in the UAE and in most multiplexes it is on more than one screen. All Harry Potter movies are big releases and this one will be too."

A spokesman for Reel Cinemas, which has branches in the Dubai Marina Mall and the Dubai Mall, said they had an overwhelming response for advance bookings. Several cinemas staged midnight screenings of the film on Thursday morning.

Still, not everyone was in the loop when it came to the release. Aimee Peters, a self-styled Harry Potter super-fan who works in corporate communications in Dubai, had no idea that the latest film was being released, which she said made her a "bad fan". However, she added that her apparent lack of enthusiasm for the latest film was not necessarily the death knell for her devotion to the franchise.

"How can you be bored of Harry Potter?" she asked.

The concluding part of Deathly Hallows will be released in the summer.

* With additional reporting by Ramola Talwar Badam

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