Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first Harry Potter book, was published in 1997. The seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. Release parties were held at bookstores nationwide and people lined up for hours ahead of time to get each book and rush home. Deathly Hallows sold 15 million copies overnight, shattering the previous sales record of 9 million, which had been set by the sixth Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Apparently, the books were so popular that emergency rooms tracked a decrease in admissions following their release, because kids were reading on the couch instead of galloping around recklessly.
And then there are the films--seven of them since 2001, with one more to come.
All together, Harry Potter fans have invested 14 years of their lives in a story that spans 4,175 pages, has more than 200 characters, and includes a series of movies that runs 19 hours and 38 minutes. The story is so complex and detailed that editors employed an internal fact-checker to ensure that details like the bend of the toilet pipe that the ghost Moaning Myrtle lived in didn't change from an "L" to an "S" from book to book. Scholars have written no shortage of academic papers analyzing Harry Potter's social messages, religious analogues and even its effect on youth literacy.
The chances that there will be another story of this magnitude in this generation are slim to none. And the final piece of it will fall into place on Friday, July 15, with the release of the eighth film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
That means Harry Potter fans better do all they can to maximize the experience, 'cause there won't be another moment like this.
Luckily, the good folks at the Edwards 9 Cinema see it the same way, and are screening all seven of the previous films in the days leading up to the release of the new film. Harry Potter fans can view the films as one complete set, seeing the characters and story grow right before their eyes.
The films will show in order from Monday, July 11, through Thursday, July 14. Tickets are $5 per movie or $30 for a full festival pass and are available at the Edwards 9 box office.