November 15th, 2016.
The last time there was a Harry Potter universe film, London had the biggest premiere it's ever had in all the time I've been here. People camped out for a week and Trafalgar Square was full. I turned up about 4 hours before it started and I was saved by a last minute road closure which allowed me to photograph pretty much everything.
Can Fantastic Beasts and its planned 4 sequels recapture that magic? Well, people started camping out on Saturday morning for a Tuesday premiere so the fan passion seems to be there. I, meanwhile, queued for two hours on Monday (if you're my boss reading this : I queued for 45mins and was back at my desk promptly), and left work about.. uh... 2hours earlier than usual.
Why? Because it was going to be big.
Here's how it went down:
After two hours later, and what I'd call "mild" respect for the system of numbered wristbands we'd mostly been observing, we were finally led into our pen - a long one stretching from drop-off all the way to the left entrance of the Empire Cinema.
A short time later.....
Rather than let us leave the pen, security told us in about five minutes the cast would return to assemble on the main stage. I'm all for getting home early from a premiere, but this was worth staying for, even involuntarily.
And so that was that. I'm pretty tired right now, so apologies for spelling mistakes and any blandness in commentary. But if nothing else, it was a fun premiere to add to the Archive of Premieres, where it joins the short-but-sweet "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere from 2009, the gargantuan "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part2" premiere, and this year's "wait... what do you mean Harry Potter is still popular?" "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" theatre launch premiere.
And I'm actually looking forward to watching this movie (and anticipating the James Newton Howard soundtrack)
Until next time!
PS> if you ever want to know when I post a new premiere journal, feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or twitter at @berndt2_photo. You can also share this journal, comment below, or congratulate me for having just having had my Australian Residency confirmed (I'm Strayan no matter where I sit or what my passport says)