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Park City to see Potter a day early

MATT JAMES Of the Record staff

Perhaps Harry Potter won’t actually be coming to town, but his film will be helping the Park City Education Foundation.

This year, one of the main events of the Park City Education Foundation Week will be the local premier of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." With the screening on Thursday, Nov. 17, Parkites will be able to see the film one day before the movie is released to the general public.

"We’re really grateful that we have such a good relationship with Warner Brothers that we can do this," said Lynn Heinlein, the executive director of the Park City Education Foundation.

"Each year," she noted, "we’ve been able to include a movie benefit premier in the Education Foundation Week."

According to Carri Gibbs-Luse, the event with "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" will be a unique one.

"We’re the only people that get it in the country," she said.

"This particular event is a fundraiser for the Park City Educational Foundation, and it’s an event the whole family can enjoy," said Heinlein.

While past Education Foundation Week premiers have been held at the Eccles Center, this year’s will feature a new venue. With the Eccles Center otherwise occupied, the screening will be held in four different theatres at the Redstone Cinemas, and without the Eccles Center lobby to decorate, the Education Foundation will take over a significant portion of the Redstone complex.

With the help of the set designer from the TV show "Everwood," and under the direction of Luce, the Education Foundation will transform various corners of Redstone into whole scene’s from Harry Potter’s world.

"It’s an outdoor festival atmosphere," said Gibbs-Luse.

On of the areas of the festival the corner just past the main entrance will be decorated like Platform 9 . Meanwhile, there will be another display by the fountain, and the space between the Spotted Frog Bookstore and J.W. Allen’s and Sons Toy and Candy Store will resemble Diagon Alley.

"There will be some magic over there," said Gibbs-Luse.

By the fountain, she said there would be fortune telling, tricks and other events. At the platform display there will be a give-away for kids, plus other festivities. All around the event, characters will be dressed in costume.

By the theatre, the group will have lights on and the red carpet rolled out for the full premier treatment.

With movie-set-quality decorations and a festive atmosphere, Gibbs-Luse said the event should be a sight to behold.

"Any ticket-holder is going to have a good time," said Gibbs-Luse. "They’ll see a variety of things and visual surprises."

But, at the same time, she hesitated to reveal too many specifics, saving the sights for the visitors.

"I want people, when they arrive, to have that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment," she said.

After the festival, which will begin at 4:30 p.m., guests will be seated for the film’s screening at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at 6:30.

Gibbs-Luse said that, like the previous Harry Potter movies, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," should appeal to a broad audience.

"Anyone who appreciates great films and a great story will enjoy the film," she said.

But she did note that "Goblet of Fire," would be slightly darker than previous Potter films. The movie earned itself a PG-13 rating, so she urged discretion from parents.

"The demographic we are marketing to is middle school students and maybe high school students," she noted.

Tickets to the event are $50 for adults and $35 for children. The price of admission includes the festival and screening. According to Gibbs-Luse, only those attending the screening may participate in the festival.

As of Thursday afternoon, Heinlein said the Educational Foundation had sold-out of 2/3 of the 740 tickets available for the festival and screening. With decorations, food and prizes donated, she said the nearly all of the proceeds from the screening will go to the organization.

"Which," added Heinlein, "is a very nice fundraiser for us."

The money, she said, would help fund the organization’s programs throughout the year.

Gibbs-Luse said she was pleased with the response she has seen so far, from both ticket-buyers and sponsors particularly those at Redstone.

"I can’t say enough about how responsive our sponsors have been," she said. "People really have encouraged and embraced and supported us this time."

"We just want to thank the volunteers," added Heinlein.

The event would be well worth-while, said Gibbs-Luse a treat for everyone who comes. But, she said, one will have to come to see the sights.

"We try to do something a little different every time," she said, "so it’s a surprise."

Festival-goers are encouraged to dress up as Harry Potter characters for the event. Tickets for the Thursday, Nov. 17 screening of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" are available at all Park City-area Zions Bank locations and at J.W. Allens and Sons Toy and Candy Store. For more information, call 615-0235.


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