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Arts & Culture

Best Ways To Bring Middle-Earth To Charlotte

December 10, 2012 8:00 AM

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(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

The buzz about “The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey” is building. Author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth and its inhabitants to entertain his children in 1937, acquiring an ever-growing fan base since then. New Zealand has even embraced the film premier with newly minted currency stamps. New Zealand Airlines shows an airline safety video featuring movie characters and the film’s producer Peter Jackson, who retrieves a “precious” gold ring from under his seat on the plane. Without flying across the international time line to Wellington, New Zealand for the Nov. 28 world premier, Charlotteans may celebrate the coming of hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins, portrayed by actor Martin Freeman, creatively and affordably.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library
310 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte NC 28202
(704) 416-0100
www.plcmc.lib.nc.us

Price: Free

Reserve “The Hobbit” and have it sent to your nearest branch of the library. In case you can’t get a copy in time, library computers are available for getting inside information from the Hobbit website. You will find that Middle-earth culture includes trivia, riddles and recipes with ingredients such as fish liver, mutton fat, ground pigeon, pig’s kidneys and sheep’s stomach. Contribute your own recipes or riddles, or choose one of five ways to end the story on the website. SparkNotes are also available for those who need to take shortcuts to get up to speed on Tolkien’s beloved tale.

Denny’s
4541 Sunset Road
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 597-9224
www.dennys.com

Hobbits eat well many times a day, and Denny’s restaurants nationwide have adopted a menu motivated by Middle-earth. Try a Hobbit Hole Breakfast, the Gandalf Gobble, the Ring Burger or Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet. Movie memorabilia in the form of 12 collectible trading cards are also available to Denny’s diners. These offerings are limited, so don’t miss out. It’s open 24/7, so you may enjoy a meal anytime.

Related: 2012 Charlotte Holiday Theater Preview

The Magic Maze
325 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 358-8791
www.themagicmaze.com

If you want to dress up in hobbit gear, The Magic Maze in Dilworth is a popular source. No matter your idea, this shop can create attire for you. In addition to its vast, ready-made collection, this location has another interesting feature. It is said that a ghost inhabits the store, a “lady in grey” who has been seen by many as she leaves the attic, walks downstairs and vanishes before she reaches the bottom. There have been other supernatural sightings at this address as well, so expect a little magic with your magic.

Goodwill Industries
2901-A Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
(704) 394-6017
www.goodwillsp.org

Hobbit fashionistas can easily whip up their own, homemade costumes. It’s simple with your costume-store cape, and Goodwill-bought and adapted pants, suspenders, coats and vests. Shop any one of 14 Goodwill Industries retail stores throughout Mecklenburg County for just the right digs. Look for the autumnal pallet of colors — yellows, greens, reds and browns — for optimum authenticity.

Related: Best Places for Film Buffs in Charlotte

Our Town Cinemas
227 Griffith St.
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 237-3235
www.ourtowncinemas.com

Price: $9 Adult/$6 Child
Hours: Dec. 13 – 12:01 a.m.

While theaters in Charlotte will show “The Hobbit” starting Friday, Dec. 14, the very first area premier will be held nearby in Davidson on Thursday night, one minute after midnight. Anticipate die hard fans of all ages, some in costume, to attend. Hobbit lovers will have two more films to look forward to in this trilogy. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is scheduled for release next year Dec. 13, 2013, and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” is anticipated to premier July 18, 2014.

Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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