The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs will hold a special preview of movie Empire of Light – which was filmed in and around Margate between the end of February and May this year.
The story, written and directed by Sam Mendes, is a tale of people brought together by the magic of cinema. It stars Olivia Colman as Hilary, manager of the Empire, a once opulent seaside cinema in a once flourishing holiday town. But, in 1981, all three have fallen on troubled times.
Hilary loves the old place despite its crumbling state and, when it’s booked for a regional film premiere, she and the cinema staff – including dedicated projectionist Norman (Toby Jones), grumpy manager Mr Ellis (Colin Firth) and handsome new box office staff Stephen (Micheal Ward) – need to find the hope, energy and imagination to bring the Empire back to life. There’s a lot stacked against them pulling it off, not least the world outside the cinema’s doors in which recession, racism and unemployment are on the rise.
Alongside the cast, the creative team includes cinematographer Roger Deakins, designer Mark Tildesley, editor Lee Smith and casting director Nina Gold. They bring together a vivid picture of 1980s Britain in the film which explores the wonder of cinemas and the joy of watching movies on the big screen together.
The production brought an estimated £4million into the Thanet economy through everything from accommodation and food costs to items and services bought locally.
Many residents responded to the call for movie extras and 1300 people of all ages were cast as background artists throughout the shoot.
Locations used included Margate’s main seafront road, the beach, the Old Town, Cliftonville,, Darcy’s Café and Manston airport site.
The preview will be on Monday 2 January at 7.30pm and will include special film goodies for all.
Tickets £7 / £6 concessions / £3.50 14s and under (the film is not yet certified but is likely to be either PG or 12A)
Booking opens on Thursday 1 December – call01843 865726 or go to www.thepalacecinema.co.uk
Leading up to Empire of Light, the Palace presents a spread of cinema joy throughout December, including:
- LAUREL AND HARDY TRIPLE WHAMMY – The monthly Palace Sunday Silent with live piano accompaniment by Lillian Henley introduces classic silent comedies from the lads’ early days.
- MATILDA THE MUSICAL – Revolting children sing and dance their way through this genius adaptation of the much-loved stage musical, plus take home pressies and official MATILDA merch prizes!
- THE MENU – Ralph Fiennes stars as a super chef with dark intentions, alongside Anya Taylor Joy and Nicholas Hoult as two of the unlucky diners.
- ARMAGEDDON TIME – Anthony Hopkins joins a starry cast in the heart-warming family story of a young boy growing up in the fast-changing times of ‘80s New York.
- IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, CASABLANCA – A welcome return for two all-time classics on the big screen, plus a return for two more recent classics ELVIS and MOONAGE DAYDREAM.