I'm just back from the midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for which I had prepaid tickets at a certain 20-screen cinema whose name I will not mention (cough Ronnie's cough), but it's normally a well-run outfit. I opted to watch it on the cheapo, old-fashioned-projection screen, rather than paying extra for IMAX or digital cinema. Probably every theater in town started rolling this film at 11:59 sharp, and I'm halfway certain all 20 screens at (cough, cough) were playing it.
So I ask you, what were the chances of me - me, to whom this kind of thing always happens - being in front of the one screen in the country where, at the precise climax of the biggest midnight opening of the year, the celluloid caught fire and melted?
*INSERT SWEAR WORDS*
Hey, I'm just quoting what I heard from all the people around me! The audience went nuts. Dozens of people bolted from the theater to inform management that the projectionist had picked a really bad moment to take a smoke break. After a few minutes, theater management yelled at us to shut up and then told us that the film would resume shortly, and that we would all get free passes. Then we waited quite a few more minutes - hint: everyone else in the building had gone by this time - before the movie started again.
All we missed was a few seconds of Draco Malfoy pointing a wand in Dumbledore's face. Did I mention this couldn't have happened at a worse point in the movie? What a way to destroy something for a couple hundred fans who have been psyched for it since Thanksgiving. We probably won't be able to use our free passes to see Harry Potter 6 any time soon, so we'll have to either pay full price for another bladder-stretching go at this 2-and-a-half-hour movie, or live with the anticlimax of having to wait half an hour between "I've got to k-" and "-ill you!"