A last-minute ticket foul-up Saturday became a dream-come-true for Gabriela Harris of Bellevue. The Sammamish High School sophomore, her...

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A last-minute ticket foul-up Saturday became a dream-come-true for Gabriela Harris of Bellevue. The Sammamish High School sophomore, her father, 12-year-old brother Sam, and her best friend, Sasha Iov, attended the New York City premiere of “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.”

The invitation to the star-studded event came through her father’s business connections. But when the four arrived at the Ziegfeld Theater box office, her father identified himself and was almost turned away. Dad shares the same name as a movie star — Ed Harris. By the time the box-office staff figured out they were guests but not stars, there weren’t four seats available together.

Instead, Gabriela sat directly in front of her favorite star, Rupert Grint, the young man who plays Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s best friend in the movies.

The memorable weekend began several months ago when Ed Harris-the-dad sat Gabriela and Sam down and said he had something important to tell them.

“He set it up like it was something bad,” said Gabriela, 15. “Then he said he got tickets to the premiere. I started screaming, I was so excited.”

Her mother, Anne, and 5-year-old brother, Izzy, stayed home.

Ed, Sam, Gabriela and Sasha flew to New York Friday. Saturday, Ed and Sam played tourists while the girls got ready for the premiere.

When the group arrived at the theater, they walked the traditional red carpet to the entrance.

“It seemed about 50 yards long, and because fans were screaming, Sam waved to the crowd,” Ed Harris said.

Once inside, they won a prize in a trivia game and wandered around identifying celebrities. Dad was pleasantly surprised to learn popcorn and drinks were free.

“I figure I saved about $40 right there,” he said.

The stars were approachable and friendly, Gabriela said. They enjoyed greeting and getting autographs from Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione).

Grint charmed Gabriela. She got his autograph, and when Ed Harris commented that Grint was Gabriela’s favorite, the young man gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Did she resist the temptation to watch him during the two-hour-and-30-minute movie? No.

“I turned around a few times,” she said. “I could hear him sipping his soda, too.”

Both Ed Harris and his daughter said this is the best of the Harry Potter films.


Speaking of movies, despite early announcements, you won’t be able to catch “Goblet of Fire” at Bellevue’s new Lincoln Square Cinemas this weekend. Construction delays pushed the opening date for the multiplex to early December.

Only in Blah-vue

Blame it on inflation or on the store’s location, but only in Bellevue have I seen a dollar store that wasn’t. The Mighty Dollar Store in Bellevue’s Lake Hills Shopping Center charges $1.25 and $1.50 for most things.

A sign in the store attributes the rising prices to shipping costs.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633