Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

On Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, the Music Box Theatre will host midnight screenings of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Hogwarts-themed parties in the Music Box Lounge will precede each screening, beginning at 10 PM.

Following a sorting ceremony conducted by Music Box staff, house teams (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) will compete for the House Cup in the Marauder’s Map Trivia Tournament, which will draw from the original seven Harry Potter books, eight films, and HP fan universe. Potterheads also will have the opportunity to pose for photos as “Azkaban fugitives,” partake in “divination” with a fortune teller, and knock out a punching bag dressed as Draco Malfoy. Alcoholic “Butterbeer” will be served both nights, in addition to other “potions” from the bar.

Music Box staff member Jenni Brody pitched the idea for the event, which was initially slated for 2016, according to public relations and promotions manager Stephanie Berlin. However, Berlin says, the theatrical release of the latest HP franchise film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, precluded the screening of Prisoner of Azkaban at the Music Box last year. Fortunately, general manager Ryan Oestreich acquired the rights to Prisoner of Azkaban for the theater’s first open weekend of 2017. Brody and fellow staff member Ashwaty Chennat will lead the event, though the entire Music Box staff (“also HP fans,” Berlin notes) will participate in the parties.

<i>Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban</i>
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Brody is a longtime fan of the series. “When the first Harry Potter movie came out, I really wanted to see it but hadn’t read the books yet,” Brody says. “My friends made me read the books before I could go with them, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I even have a Deathly Hallows tattoo!”

“When Ryan asked me if I had any ideas for midnight movies,” she continues, “I said ‘Harry Potter’ half-jokingly, because I didn’t think it was possible—but mostly because I wanted to watch it in theaters again.”

Brody adds that choosing one out of the eight films in the original series was difficult. “It was debated for a while between Ashwaty, Ryan, and me,” she says, “but we agreed starting somewhere in the beginning would be great, since we haven’t seen these in theaters in a while, and Alfonso [Cuarón] is such a great director.”

Prizes for the winning trivia team will be announced on the day of the event; and the Butterbeer recipe, which Brody and Chennat concocted and continue to evaluate, is also being kept secret. “Ashwaty and I spend most of our shifts playing around with ingredients,” Brody says. “We think we have a winner, though.”

Brody says tickets are still available, but Muggles shouldn’t delay: “The numbers continue to grow every day, and we are hoping it sells out!”

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the event’s Facebook page and the Music Box website.