I remember the first time I saw Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone in the movie theater. I had read the book, obviously, and was so worried that I would sit in the dark theater and be miserably disappointed. I really had absolutely nothing to worry about at all. When the lights dimmed and that twinkling, magical music washed over me, it was everything I wanted (barring Hogwarts actually existing in real life, of course). And now it looks like we'll get to do it all over again. Here's how to watch the Harry Potter movies in theaters, because sometimes you really can go back in time to get everything you want.
So here's the whole story; the first American release of the book Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone happened in 1998, September 1 of 1998 to be exact. The book was initially released in the United Kingdom in 1997, but as Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. Which means that the United Kingdom already had their own 20th anniversary for the release of JK Rowlings' amazingly wonderful series of books about a boy discovering he's a wizard (and at war with He Who Must Not Be Named). This year, however, marks the American 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter books.
So let's go to the movies to celebrate.
Starting on August 31 and continuing through until September 6, Cinemark will be playing Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone in 141 theaters across the country. Perhaps the best part? The price. Only 5 dollars. Of course, there's pretty much only one other thing I would prefer to be doing at the beginning of September, despite my advanced years. I would obviously prefer to be boarding the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 & 3/4. But since it doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen, being able to see Harry Potter on the big screen after 20 years feels like a pretty solid trade-off to me.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention; it won't just be the first Harry Potter movie playing at Cinemark theaters between August 31 and September 6. It will be all eight of the original films, plus the exceptionally made prequel released in 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. And you will be able to see each of these movies for just five bucks a pop. According to Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi, it's all part of Wizarding Week, as he told Business Insider:
The magic of the Wizarding World truly comes to life through the 35 trillion colors and custom engineered surround sound our Cinemark XD auditoriums offer, and we are proud to give fans such a remarkable movie-watching environment for one of the most notable franchises in the world. The Wizarding World holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, and we know many moviegoers experienced the magic of Hogwarts for the first time in a Cinemark auditorium. We are thrilled to welcome them back to our theatres for this exclusive opportunity to relive the magic in Cinemark XD.
Now to the important details; which theaters will be playing the movies? You can check out the list of participating theaters here, and if you really want to go big you can consider buying a "Festival Pass." According to Cinemark these passes come with ""a collectible keychain, a specially designed cup that is refillable for $3.50 through the end of the year, and a commemorative festival badge."
So here is what I'm thinking... for those parents out there who might be sending kids back to school in the fall, maybe you can dress up in your wizarding robes and spend a few stolen afternoons getting reacquainted with the magical world of Harry Potter. Or I guess you can bring your kids too if you're a nice person.
Either way, just be sure to see every single movie at least once. I know I will.