Throngs of Harry Potter fans flocked to Galaxy Cinemas in Red Deer to say goodbye to the magic on Friday.
The Order of the Thestrals 6 — a group of Hunting Hills High School and Notre Dame High School students — were the first to snag tickets to the final movie in the epic series, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows: Part 2.
Arriving at 9 a.m., the friends dressed the part with magic wands, dark capes and dark-rimmed glasses to get the best seat. Over the years, the super fans read the seven Harry Potter books and watched all the movies (eight in total) together.
They even posted Harry Potter video blogs to YouTube.
Christian Isbister, 17, who was dressed as a Hufflepuff student, said the movie was fantastic and stayed close to the original book.
While it is the end of the movies and books, Isbister said his group will still meet.
“We are still Harry Potter nerds for a while,” he said.
Several of the movie screenings were sold out at the theatre.
The first two shows at 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Friday were packed with fans with a few remaining seats scattered throughout the theatre.
Ticket taker Jared Holitski said there was a sense of anticipation and excitement as the moviegoers filled the theatre.
Holitski and other Galaxy staff were treated to a midnight showing of the movie before it opened to the public. Jayden Toth, 15, another Galaxy staffer, was pleased with the translation from the book to the movie but is sad to see the finale of the series.
“It was basically my favourite books to read when I grew up and I was always excited to see the movies come out,” he said. “Sad to see it end but it was a good ending to it.”
Most fans left the theatre with smiles but there were plenty of red eyes as many brushed away tears.
Julie Finley was openly weeping when she walked out of the theatre.
The 21-year-old grew up with the characters Harry, Hermione and Ron, who she looked on as friends. She even made up her own character to fit in the plots with every new book.
“It’s like a part of me is over now,” she said.