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Potter Mania Works Its Magic

The wait is over for Harry Potter fans . The film series' seventh installment , "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1," hits theaters Friday. Some fans, such as Fairfield's sibling pairs Kassidy and Jessica Clark and Robert and Dean Busillo, didn't want to wait a minute more than they had to. Moviegoers of all ages filled Showcase Cinemas in Bridgeport Thursday night for midnight screenings.

"This is the finale, this is the big thing," said Ben Esposito, also of Fairfielder. "I have to be at the midnight showing so I can say that I was at the biggest film phenomenon of my time."

Ben showed up nearly two hours before the film started to stake out his place in line. He dressed in Hogwarts regalia to "be completely immersed in the environment." But he still could not beat Warde senior Natalie Cappase to the front of the line.

Natalie staked out her spot two-and-a-half hours early to make sure she and her friends in the school's Harry Potter club got prime seats. This is the third time Natalie has attended a midnight premiere, but in previous years she managed to make the most of her time.

"Last year, I spent so much time studying in the movie theater waiting that I actually got a 100 on my test," she said.

Natalie wasn't alone in line for long. More than an hour before show time, the theater already had sold more than 700 tickets for the midnight show. The three screens open for the event would eventually accommodate 900 people.

Those that made it were in for a late night. With a running time of 146 minutes, midnight viewers did not expect to make it home before 3 a.m. Denise Walsh took her son, Logan, 12, and his friends Hunter Campbell and Ryan Connor to the show. She granted Logan a day off from school Friday to recover.

"It's a special treat for them," Denise said.

Jenny Bowers was not so lucky. Her mother, Donna, also brought her to the movie, but thought she'd be fine to go to school the next day.

Donna said, "If I have to go into school tomorrow to teach, she has to go in tomorrow."

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