[0300 Helsinki time, after the film ended] The entrance to the theatre showing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HP6) in Helsinki, Finland at 6 minutes after midnight. [Harry Potter ja Puoliverinen Prinssi]. There are three theatres at Finnkino showing the film this night.
The doors open and we get ready to enter the theatre!
Yeowza! The movie screen is the largest I’ve ever seen — 184.8 square metres (8.8 x 21 m — or 29 x 69 ft) — and this particular theatre, the largest, seats 703 people, all in very comfortable red-velvet covered reserved seats. All of the theatres were sold out at Finnkino, and another theatre in Helsinki was also showing the film on four separate screens. Annoyingly, there was roughly 15 minutes of commercials in Finnish, Swedish and English that were shown before the film (finally) started.
After the film started, I captured some pics with the Finnish and Swedish subtitles, but I couldn’t get anything that wasn’t blurred, and I was worried the ushers would come around and take my camera way if they spotted me in the crowd (at least I wasn’t drawing attention to myself by using a flash, as some dorks were — what is a flash supposed to illuminate when you are sitting 30 meters away from the screen?). I also realized that watching the film through my camera was not as much fun as just sitting back and enjoying the experience.
My short review? The film was amazing; thoughtfully directed and all the actors did a fine job, the camera angles were interesting and the special effects enhanced the story rather than being the showcase of the film itself. Here’s another official trailer for those who have not yet seen the film (and for those who, like me, are already planning to see it again in the theatres);
It was 0300 when the film ended, and the sun was already rising, but the buses apparently weren’t running since I waited for the N1 bus for half an hour (it was supposed to appear every 15 minutes) and considering that I was cold and had to pee (why don’t the theatre staff let their patrons use the bathroom after sitting in their theatres for three hours? Sheesh!), this was not a good situation. The solution? Cab it.
While I am thinking about it, where have you seen all the Harry Potter films, were you with anyone, and did you see the films on opening night?
HP1: Seattle, 0001, alone, opening night
HP2: NYC, alone, Screen Actors’ Guild showing, a week or so before its official premier showing
HP3: NYC, with a friend who works at Time-Warner, Random House Publishers’ special showing for their employees, a week or so before its official premier showing
HP4: NYC, 0001, alone, opening night
HP5: Tacoma, with a Seattle birding pal, a week or so after its official premier
HP6: Helsinki, Finland, 0006, with a friend, opening night
My goal? To watch one or both of the HP7(a&b) in London, England on their opening nights.