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Harry's Magical Powers Make Movie Tickets Disappear

Tickets to sold-out Potter screenings Thursday night at midnight are already appearing on Craigslist.

It's official: Tickets for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 are already being sold on Craigslist.

The debut of the final installment of the epic saga is five days away, but fans haven't gobbled up all the seats at theaters in the Chicago area as enthusiasm is expected to grow.

Some people are looking to cash in on the desire of series devotees and others to be among the first to see the movie when it's released July 15.

One Chicago Craigslist posting features a picture of a printed ticket from Fandango.com and asks potential buyers to "Send me your offer!"

Patch sent an e-mail to the poster and asked about the price for a ticket.

"I figured like $20 each thanks," the seller replied via Blackberry.

Compared to the average $9 ticket, that's more than a 100 percent markup.

Another Chicago Craigslist posting says: "Buy them now before it sells out." The ad also includes a link that takes buyers to Fandango.com. A third listing asks $60 for a pair of tickets.

In Niles, the AMC Theater at Golf Mill Shopping Center still has tickets available for the midnight showing Thursday night, said manager Josh Willett. One of those theaters will also show at 9 p.m. Thursday in case movie-goers want to review the story to make sure they don't get their Malfoys and Lestranges mixed up. 

In Park Ridge, the Pickwick Theatre still had Thursday night midnight screening tickets available as of Friday July 8. 

In Skokie, both  and  report already having at least one sold-out showtime. 

"Last year, we had Potter fans camping out six hours before the showing," said an employee at the Old Orchard's AMC theater. "There was a group of them and they were reading Harry Potter books.

"It wouldn't surprise me if people got decked out in Harry Potter gear before the movie," the employee added.

The saga of Harry Potter and Hogwarts has been a story that seems to always carry a magic pot of gold for each of the seven earlier movies. Warner Bros. has grossed more than $6.4 billion through box office ticket, DVD and merchandise sales since the first installment's release in 2001.

Its British creator, J.K. Rowling, has also earned the title of the first billionaire author from her seven-book series. More than 400 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide.

The latest movie premiered Thursday in London, where thousands of fans from around the world massed for the red carpet showing.

Interest is high closer to home, too.

Carol Turner, a youth services librarian at the Niles Library, checked the shelves and found out all the Harry Potter hardcovers had been checked out.

"That normally happens when a movie comes out," she said. "And the Harry Potter books are really popular. People ask for them and we find they're checked out."

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