Cool Potter Premiere Recreates Icy Ball

Warner Brothers feted its latest Harry Potter film in a dramatic winter setting faithful to the story.

November 17, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

A wintry environment derived from the film pervaded the decor for the premiere party for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Synod Hall.

Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire premiere Ziegfeld Theater (screening), Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Synod Hall (party) Saturday, 11.12.05, 4:30 PM to 12 AM
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Wintry silver and white touches dominated the Gothic spaces of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Synod Hall for Warner Brothers’ premiere of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. After the screening at the Ziegfeld Theater, filmmakers, talent, and executives arrived at the dramatically lit hall and walked into a scene evocative of the movie’s festive Yule Ball, a holiday formal set in an icy palace.

Courtney Saylor, Warner Brothers’ director of publicity and special events, and Chad Hudson, manager of premieres and special events, oversaw the event; Wendy Creed Productions designed and produced the party. Faithful to the Potter films, which feature floating candles in the great hall of Harry’s school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Creed suspended candles from the high ceiling—although instead of real ones, she used LED versions from Enchanted Lighting.

Within the nooks that line two sides of the hall, Creed built bars and buffets rich with mirrored surfaces, shiny silver draperies, and crystal chandeliers. Bars featured illuminated white tops and faux icicles clinging to the edges. Behind bars and buffets were large custom-made mirrors and shiny silver spangles strung in cascades down the backs of silver metal shelves holding candles and glassware.

Tables in the movie were laden with shimmering ice castles lavished with lobster and shrimp. To translate that to the event, Okamoto Studio crafted a large, dramatic ice castle for the center of the room; and buffets included large icy platters of lobster. Mary Giuliani Catering & Events also provided an appropriately holiday-themed menu for guests at the wintry party, including roasted turkey with gravy and stuffing that included shiitake mushrooms, hazelnuts, and cranberries. Other offerings included mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and chives and sautéed vegetables.

Downstairs, in a vaulted space under the main hall was a lounge with a cool white look, executed by Visions Lighting (which also handled sound for the event). Designed for the party’s younger crowd—guests were invited to bring their families—the space had white lounge seating and a white dance floor, as well as illuminated white bars and candy stations, and a fortune teller and photography station from NY Party Works.

Mark Mavrigian

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