Easily one of the most ambitious movie marathons the Prince Charles have ever put on, finally bowing to the constant requests on their blackboard to screen this epic movie franchise in its entirety.
No stranger to movie marathons, typically the PCC will run all-nighters with themes and genre specials ranging from a Halloween horror fest, to a Disney pyjama party.
With dressing up encouraged for witches, wizards and muggles alike, this was set to be another fantastic event and the ultimate test in your survival and stamina. Beginning at 8:30pm and finishing the following day at 17:30pm, this was not a marathon for the faint-hearted! Fortunately Potter obsessives are a hardy bunch, with years of practice waiting in line for the latest book, and packing out the theatres for every new film release as well.
Watching the films all in one day is one thing, and sure you could just as easily do this at home with the comfort of your couch, an unlimited supply of snacks and the pizza guy on speed dial, but where is the fun in that? By experiencing these films back to back in the cinema you get to enjoy them with hundreds of other like-minded and equally crazy individuals who are more than willing to give up their bank holiday weekend to spend 21 hours in the wizarding world.
The atmosphere from start to finish at this event was really fantastic, with the villains getting some pantomime-style hisses and boos and the heroes being cheered, clapped and whooped at all the right moments. Where else could you have 200 people uproariously cheer when Molly Weasley vanquishes the evil Bellatrix LeStrange, or when a cardigan-wearing Neville Longbottom slays a snake?
The films will be pretty familiar to everyone by now so I’ll skip over reviewing them all in turn, but the experience of watching them all in one session is truly magical. The first film, whilst twee and a little too “stage school-y”, feels so familiar and comforting, and watching the story develop, the characters grow and the themes becoming darker and darker is even more evident in this setting.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 is always an emotional watch, with the Snape moments and various character deaths guaranteed to draw sobs from the dedicated crowd. But when you’re approximately 19 hours in and have been on this journey in a relatively short space of time, it is even more emotional. I found myself welling up in moments I never had before; call it tiredness, call it deliriousness, but this experience gave me a new appreciation for the films on a level I never expected.
Spending 21 hours in the cinema will not be for everyone that’s for sure, but for the diehards this is an absolute must! Don’t worry if you missed this weekends sell-out showings, the second May bank holiday weekend there’ll be doing it all over again. And who knows, keep writing it on the board and maybe they’ll be tempted to show it again at an even later date! Would I do it all again? Fetch my wand, I’ll be there with robes on! This was a truly magical and wonderful experience that has reignited my love for this movie universe and taken me straight back to being a kid and waiting for my Hogwarts letter in the post. It could still be lost in the post 14 years later right?!