Theaters nationwide began selling tickets for the newest Harry Potter movie Goblet of Fire three weeks prior to opening night and Dumbledore's Army, the Mills club devoted to JK Rowling's works, took that as a cue to organize their own excursion.
The club is new to Mills this year and the combination of this summer's release of book six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the impending fourth movie led not only to the creation of this club but its popularity as well. Movie-planning sessions doubled the club size from approximately six members – five of whom were officers – to 13.
Though going to a movie is a common activity, several issues have created roadblocks for the officers of Dumbledore's Army. Their first theater choice, the United Artist in Emeryville, was taken down from Fandango, an online ticketing site, sending the group to a further theater, the Regal Cinemas Jack London Stadium 9 in Oakland. Also, the surge in membership has raised questions about transportation. The first midnight showing would have the members returning to campus at approximately 2 a.m. and members expressed concerns about attempting to use public transit at that hour of the morning. Enough cars and drivers were found for club members but the tight space was on a first-come, first-serve basis.
As the release day drew near, the club met again to discuss Goblet of Fire. Last Saturday the group had a movie marathon of the first three adaptations.
Every time the discussion flares to life, members reiterate the inherent differences between movies and books but agree that they're different entities. Time constraints leave out important character history and favorite scenes but the excitement is still thrumming.
The most anticipated scenes? It's a tie between Draco Malfoy's brief bouncing interlude as a ferret and the swirling dress robes of the Yule Ball, according to club members.
Members of Dumbledore's Army are mixed about dressing up – it's not required to attend, but some are considering the idea. Co-President Demeter Butler was torn between characters – Draco Malfoy or Severus Snape – as fitting for her self-proclaimed role as Slytherin House Head.
"The best part about the club is being able to supply a place for Harry Potter fans to get together and share in the love of the genre," said sophomore and club president Rebecca Stone.
Dumbledore's Army stresses this isn't an exclusive event. Anyone providing their own ticket and transportation can join the group for the 11:59 p.m. showtime at the Regal Cinemas Jack London Stadium 9 in Oakland. While waiting outside the theater, the group will be reading favorite passages from the book in a round robin style.