Photo by Catherine Ashmore
Photo by Catherine Ashmore

This story was written by Anna Kucher. 

ITHACA, N.Y. — This Wizarding Weekend, Cinemapolis’ Executive Director Brett Bossard is excited for the theater to join other downtown businesses in celebration of the Harry Potter fandom.

“I’m sure local businesses benefited a lot last year. We’re a community organization and it seemed like a great way to be a part of a big downtown event,” said Bossard.

Cinemapolis will be hosting a series of presentations and panels outside of their normal business hours, featuring special guests ranging from local authors to professional cinema prosthetic artists. Confirmed panelists for the Local Author’s Panel include artist and one half of the creative team behind The Only Living Boy, Steve Ellis, in addition to A Hundred Thousand Words author Bob Proehl.

Through these special presentations, event organizers hope to broaden the scope of activities available to adult participants. Wizarding Weekend Creative Director and Owner of Life’s So Sweet Chocolates, Darlynne Overbaugh, believes that the presenters will bring aspects of ‘real world wizarding’ to the weekend-long event. Bossard added that the presenters provide a way for people to get indoors during in Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend.

“We wanted to include Cinemapolis because they have a really great space, and sometimes people overlook the alleyways. We know that being in Press Bay Alley,” said Overbaugh.

Cinemapolis will also screen the National Theatre Live presentation of Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein during the Wizarding Weekend. Screenings will take place Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 pm and again Saturday, October 29th at 1:30 pm. Thursday’s screening will feature Benedict Cumberbatch as Creature, while Saturday Johnny Lee Miller will star as Creature. Bossard believes the screening fits well into with themes of Wizarding Weekend, and hopes that fans of Harry Potter will appreciate the fantasy and British theater present in Frankenstein.

Overbaugh is also excited about the crossover between people interested in Harry Potter and those interested in Frankenstein. “I think if Harry Potter was being filmed now they would try to squeeze Benedict Cumberbatch in,” said Overbaugh.

“We’re excited to be part of this really fun, very Ithaca, and original event. It’s really interesting to see this Grassroots idea has become an officially recognized, big event that I think certainly all of downtown benefits from. It will be a fun weekend,” said Bossard.

Entry to the special presentations is free, reference the official Wizarding Weekend Schedule for exact times. Tickets to the National Theatre Live presentation at Cinemapolis cost $18 for students, seniors, and members of Cinemapolis or $22 for general admission.