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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 07:18 GMT
Hollywood ending for tiny cinema
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh plays a scientist in Alien Love Triangle
It's a world away from Hollywood, but Kenneth Branagh's latest premiere will be in a 23-seat cinema in an old railway carriage in a back garden.

The Oscar-nominated star of Alien Love Triangle will see the film's debut finally bring down the curtain on La Charrette, in Gorseinon, near Swansea.

Wear and tear means the cinema has become too costly to maintain.

Saturday's premiere of the Danny Boyle film has been organised by critic Mark Kermode for BBC2's The Culture Show.

The 30-minute movie was made in 2002 by Boyle, director of Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Sunshine and also features Courtney Cox and Heather Graham.

They deserved a memorable send-off, and (in a rash moment) The Culture Show promised to give them one
Film critic Mark Kermode

The film, about a scientist who discovers his wife is a male alien, was intended to be one of three 30-minute short films shown together.

But it was never released, and the two other films, Mimic and Imposter, were turned into full-length features and the project was cancelled.

La Charrette had already played host to what should have been its last screening - Ocean's 13 - in October and it was due to be dismantled in November. But the cinema's regulars jumped at the chance to give it a rousing finale.

"It is the end of an era and we wanted to go out with a bang," said the chairman of the club Ron Williams, who has been visiting the cinema for the last 47 years.

LA CHARRETTE
La Charrette (Picture Lee Falconer)
Founded by the late Gwyn Phillips, who fell in love with the silver screen while working in local cinemas as a teenager
He built La Charrette in his back garden and invited family and friends to screenings
After his death in 1996, his family allowed the 70 cinema members to screen films there
The British Film Institute recognised La Charrette as the smallest cinema in Wales
Classics including Gone With The Wind and The Sound of Music have been screened there

Writing in the Guardian, Mr Kermode said he fell in love with La Charrette and its patrons after visiting it for The Culture Show before Christmas.

"They deserved a memorable send-off, and (in a rash moment) The Culture Show promised to give them one. A world premiere! With stars!," he wrote.

After contacting all of the UK's major film distributors and sending them pictures of La Charrette, Mr Kermode said offers of several upcoming movies were made for the premiere.

But he decided to ask Alien Love Triangle's producer Andrew Macdonald for the film because he wanted "something special, something unique, something unattainable".

The premiere in La Charrette will be a black tie event. As well as Branagh's appearance, Courtney Cox is expected to send a video message.

After the premiere La Charrette will be dismantled and may be moved to a heritage park in Gower.

The event will be filmed for The Culture Show and screened on BBC2 on Saturday, 1 March.



SEE ALSO
Curtain falls on 23-seat cinema
22 Oct 07 |  South West Wales
Half-century for half-pint cinema
02 Oct 03 |  South West Wales

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