They came in costumes and with couches. They made posters, played Uno, shared pizzas and bags of chips, and mingled with fanatical new friends.
Crowds of Harry Potter fans said they weren't bored, even after waiting more than 50 hours outside the Regal Cinema Santa Cruz 9 for the first showing of the final installment of the movie series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
“It;s Harry Potter; you got to wait,” said Kenna Lindsay, 16, from Live Oak. She joined the line at 9 a.m. Thursday for the midnight show, but was a block and a half away from the start of the queue, which had formed two days before.
Indigo Prizm, an 18-year-old UC Santa Cruz student, held the first position, stretched out on a blanket with friends playing card games. She got there Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and avoided a rain shower because she was under the cinema's marquee.
“I grew up reading them," she said of the Harry Potter books. "It might sound cheesy, but they changed my life." The books are not just about magic for her but are a story of friendship and personal connections that she has followed since she was 6.
A lot of the people in line were young enough to have begun their reading habits as result of this passion.
“I brought them to her,“ said Judy Riggs, waiting patiently with her 14-year-old daughter, Jaime.
Judy used to read Harry Potter books to Jaime before she learned to read on her own. “I like Harry Potter a lot, it has been a part of my life since I was 3,” said the Aptos teen.
At noon, the line was about 95 percent girls and women, "because the boys aren't organized enough to get down here," said Judy. "They'll be here later."
Some caught the Harry Potter bug later in their lives and managed to display enormous passion.
“It has changed a lot of lives for a lot of kids,” said Cassin LaFountaine, 23.
He didn't start reading Harry Potter until the seventh book, but the fever was strong enough to make him go back to the beginning and to dress up as headmaster Dumbledore while waiting for the movie.