Potter mania sweeps East Anglia

HARRY Potter mania swept East Anglia yesterday as fans turned out in force to see the latest movie in the hit series.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third movie in the series penned by author J K Rowling, is already proving a global hit – and it was no surprise it received a rapturous reception in the region.

By John Howard

HARRY Potter mania swept East Anglia yesterday as fans turned out in force to see the latest movie in the hit series.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third movie in the series penned by author J K Rowling, is already proving a global hit - and it was no surprise it received a rapturous reception in the region.

Yesterday , children and adults alike flocked to cinemas as the film went on general release.


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Staff at the UGC Cinema in Ipswich said the atmosphere was "mad" as families, some who had booked two weeks in advance and travelled from all parts of the county, descended on the cinema.

Youngsters left the first showings yesterday excited and chatting about their favourite moments, character and the special effects.

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Karen Chubb, 16, from Ipswich, said: "You can't beat Harry Potter, there were good graphics, it was funny. This one was my favourite book.''

Her brother Stefan, 12, said he really enjoyed the film and loved the opening which was "fantastic''. The pair had booked their tickets two weeks in advance to make sure they got to one of the first showings.

Josh Wakeman, nine, of Ipswich, said: "I enjoyed it, I like the spells. It's the same as the book.''

Other youngsters loved the sense of magic and younger ones the moment where characters got to ride magically on a bird.

However, there was disappointment for some families after the sound failed in one of the screens.

Alan Bridges, from Frinton, who brought his grandchildren, said: "It started off brilliantly and then just died out, it's such a shame.''

Sarah Burgess, from Stowmarket, added: "I was very upset, my six-year-old, Jack, was in tears. He has been waiting for nearly a year from this film.''

Staff at the UGC offered to drop a showing of blockbuster epic Troy and reshow the Harry Potter film, or offered a refund, plus free tickets to another movie, and refreshments refunded, leaving many families satisfied and looking forward to a return trip.

Meanwhile, the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, had four showings yesterday and eager children queued up a long time to obtain their seats. At least one of the showings was sold out and the 264-seater theatre was very busy for the other three.

Tina Wiseman, duty manager, said: ''It has been pretty hectic here and the children all seem very happy when they come out of the film.''

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