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They’re just wild about Harry

Harry Potter is casting his spell on Brookhaven, and folks areflocking to see the first movie based on the hugely-popular seriesof books from author J.K. Rowling.

Randall Smith, manager of the West Brook Cinema, said Friday’sfirst showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was asellout, and attendance for other showings has been goodalso.

“It’s doing well,” Smith said during an unusual Saturdaymorning showing of a movie at the theater.

Following Friday’s two performances, the movie is showingdaily at 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10:30p.m.

“That’s at least through Tuesday,” Smith said, mentioningthat new movies will start Wednesday. “We’ll post other show timesthen.”

Smith said Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace was theonly other movie to be shown five times a day during its early runhere. He expected another upcoming movie based on a popular bookcould be the third.

“We don’t know the running time for Lord of the Ringsyet, but I imagine we’ll have additional shows for that,” Smithsaid, referring to the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Smith said advance sales for Harry Potter have beensteady.

Gloria Pope and her son Devante, 9, from Monticello, got to thetheater about 11:15 for the 12:45 showing Saturday.

“He’s a Harry Potter fan,” Mrs. Pope said as her son rattled offways the two could kill time before the movie started.

Devante said his favorite part of Harry Potter was his magicwand. He also pointed out the little wizard’s academicachievements.

“He’s a straight-A student at Hogwarts,” he said, referring tothe Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizard

Once inside the auditorium, Smith said audiences have given themovie “very positive” reviews.

“For a movie running two hours and 47 minutes, it’s holdingtheir attention,” Smith said. “Kids love it and the parents loveit.”

Becky Emfinger, who brought her 15-year-old son Joey and11-year-old Bethany, echoed those sentiments while leaving theauditorium after the morning show.

“I thought it was a good movie,” she said, although sheexpressed a small concern about some of the special effects. “Someof the scenes might be a little scary for the little kids.”

Emfinger’s children also thought the movie was good.

“It was really close to the books,” Joey said.

The books, and now the movie, have garnered some criticism fromsome people concerned about the witchcraft and wizardry associatedwith the Potter phenomenon.

Smith said he had heard only one complaint about the filmshowing here.

Mrs. Pope said she had some concerns and read a few of thePotter books. She said there’s good and evil and she hoped childrenlook at the good as Potter combats the bad forces.

“He’s about defeating evil,” Mrs. Pope said.

Nationwide, the movie is on its way to setting box officerecords. It grossed $31.3 million in its debut Friday, the highestsingle-day take ever, according to distributor Warner Bros.