During the weekend just passed, Bride of Film Nerd and I left the muggle world for a few short hours and found ourselves at the Powerhouse Museum enjoying Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Like many similar events held at the Powerhouse in the past, this exhibit allowed the general public to enjoy viewing props and costumes that were used in the filming of this popular film franchise. So now we are reporting back on the experience, and if one thing is for certain, it is that if you are a fan, you should certainly make an effort to attend!!
Upon entry, after being reminded multiple times that photography or video recordings were not permitted, we were greeted by a robed member of staff (with a passable but somewhat strained English accent), and she helps gets the younger attendees excited by allowing them to wear the Sorting Hat and get sorted into a house. Though not directed at an older audience, it is still entertaining, especially seeing some kids almost hyperventilating for the chance to be sorted. We then were escorted into a mini-theatre where we saw a brief presentation, then it was time to go past the Hogwarts express and into the exhibit proper.
For film nerds such as myself, this is where the real fun began. All the items on display are presented in themed rooms, beginning with the Gryffindor Common Room, which has a large focus on the main trio, with wands, spell books, the Marauder’s Map, costumes, and even Harry’s glasses. This list only manages to skim the surface! This section is then followed by Hogwarts classes, with a display focusing on the most familiar subjects, as well as the Hogwarts Professors that teach them
The following segments continue this same trend, with a section on Quidditch (both at the school level and international), Hagrid’s Hut (you can sit in Hagrid’s chair, you may have some difficulty getting out of it though), the Forbidden Forest (with a menacing model of a Hungarian Horntail), a section on the Dark forces (wands and costumes of Voldemort and his minions), and ending with the Great Hall (focus on Dumbledore and McGonagall, The Triwizard Cup, and the Yule Ball). To go more specifically into the joys to be found in each section would not only take a much longer post to write about, but it would also to a certain degree rob interested parties from the opportunity to discover real gems as they wander around. Suffice it to say, if the hints I have dropped are not enough to get you excited, then you are not the heavy weight Harry Potter fan at which an exhibition like this is directed. Speaking for myself, I enjoyed every moment, and spent a great deal of time examining each item on display.
The Gift Shop
The price of tickets for the exhibition are relatively inexpensive, with one adult ticket setting you back $32. However, obsessed fans will end up spending much more than this, as the gift shop is filled with way too many temptations. Bride of Film Nerd and I resisted buying apparel, however there were other items that we were not so strong in our resolution with.
The Exhibition guide
Given that no photography is allowed in the exhibition, this is the best way to help retain memories of what one has seen. With images of all the items on display, and snippets of other behind the scenes information, it is a nicely assembled guide with great images of the exhibits. If all that were not enough, however, inside the front cover you get a replica of Harry’s acceptance letter to Hogwarts!
The Marauder’s Map
This is quite an authentic replica of the maps used during filming, and unfolded it is quite massive, so much so that deciding how to display it at home presents a problem. With multiple fold out panels and exquisite detail though, it is a great opportunity to examine the entire grounds of Hogwarts at one’s own luxury.
Through this gift shop, I have discovered the Noble Collection of Harry Potter memorabilia. For me, the greatest items available from this collection are the replica wands, made of resin and intricately detailed, they have a wand available for every wizard that ever appears on-screen, pretty much. Not all wands are for sale in the gift shop, unfortunately, but many of the best are there. We picked up Dumbledore’s wand (yes, don’t get confused, though it does not say so on the box it IS the Elder Wand), and Snape’s wand. That evening however, I was online with The Noble Collection seeing what else I may wish to add to my personal collection.
These photos are all taken upon entry to the Exhibition, and are available in a lovely leather folder to collect at the end. It is the closest Bride and I will ever get to really attending a feast in the Great Hall!!