A still image from "Fantastic Beasts," now playing at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. PHOTO COURTESY OF CRITERION THEATRE

‘Fantastic Beasts’ settles in for run at Criterion Theatre

BAR HARBOR — The J.K. Rowling film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” premiered at The Criterion Theatre on Nov. 17, and will run through Dec. 8.

The film, based on Rowling’s book of the same name, takes place 70 years before Harry Potter is in Hogwarts and follows writer Newt Scamander as he researches and rescues magical creatures.

The Criterion invites community members to send in photos or drawings of their fantastic beasts. These could be photos of pets and animals or sketches of imagined creatures with a short description of their powers.

Selected winners will have their submissions included in the film’s pre-show reel. One winner will receive a basket of pet toys and treats donated by Dawnland Tours LLC.

All submissions in jpg format should be sent to [email protected].

In addition to participating in the contest, The Criterion encourages moviegoers to support local “fantastic beasts” with donations to the SPCA of Hancock County. During the premiere on Thursday, Nov. 17, volunteers waccepted donated items from the SPCA’s wish list, which is available on their website. Items include cleaning supplies, pet food, treats and toys. A monetary donation bin will be in the Criterion lobby throughout the run of the film.

“Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, we all love the creatures that make our lives richer,” said Director Heather Martin. “Whether it is a creature of your imagination or the creature that greets you every morning, we can’t wait for you to share your fantastic beast with us while we all come together to make lives better for those animals who are waiting for a home.”

Tickets, which cost $8 for balcony seats, $7 for orchestra and $6 for students-seniors in the orchestra, are available at www.criteriontheatre.org.

The 1932 Criterion Theatre is a nonprofit cinema, theater, multimedia art producer and venue committed to safeguarding this historic space for stories, storytellers and audiences. The Criterion has been a staple of the Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island arts community since its construction in 1932 and looks forward to a long future of welcoming theater goers. Visit www.criteriontheatre.org or call 288-0829.

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