Just when many adults deemed the next generation largely illiterate due to struggling public schools, video games, Jerry Springer and ten-second attention spans, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter re-established reading as an ‘in’ sport for millions of youth.
Rowling’s sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, went on sale seconds after midnight last Friday. Like legions of other book stores, Every Picture Tells a Story on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica held a midnight party so “Potter heads” could get the latest Potter iteration the moment it was released.
Across the street, the Aero Theater, operated by non-profit American Cinematheque, held a three day Harry Potter film festival.The Potter fest was the latest chapter in a series of collaborative events staged by the Aero and Every Picture Tells a Story for young people. Recently, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, first man to walk on the moon along with Neil Armstrong, visited both the theater and the bookstore to talk to children about space travel. The Aero screened the 1950 sci fi classic “Destination Moon” in conjunction with Aldrin’s appearance.