The red carpet rolled out and the corks popped as Lowther Pavilion staged its very own film premiere.
Just weeks after the installation of a cinema screen at the Lytham theatre, it was chosen to host a gala advance screening of Breathe, which goes on general release tomorrow.
The event was a joint venture by the three South Fylde Rotary Clubs – Lytham, Kirkham and Rural Fylde and St Annes – and raised around £2,000 towards Rotary International’s End Polio Now charity objective.
Rotary District Governor Larry Branyan congratulated the clubs on working together to present such an historic evening.
Prior to the film the audience heard on video from Microsoft boss Bill Gates and other well-known personalities about the importance of reducing polio figures to zero.
Breathe , directed by Andy Serkis, is the real-life story of Robin Cavendish, who was paralysed from the neck down and able to breathe only with the use of a mechanical ventilator but became a tireless advocate for disabled people and was the world’s longest-living ‘responaut’.
It was introduced to the Lowther audience by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland’s president 2019-20 Donna Wallbank who had travelled from South Wales for the occasion, while among the packed audience were the winners of an Express competition to win tickets – Pauline Hughes, Glenys Markland, John and Ruth Bradbury, Joan Ogden and Jackie Stanbury.
Tim Lince, chairman of the Lowther Trust, said: “We were thrilled to work with the Rotarians on the presentation of the British advance screening of ‘Breathe.
“It was a really good opportunity to showcase our cinema equipment that was provided by kind donation by the Windmill community benefit society.
“The whole evening was a real celebration for the local community and we hope to be able to showcase other pre-release films in the future.”
Actor Andrew Garfield, who plays Cavendish in the film, spoke on BBC TV’s Andrew Marr Show the following morning praising Rotary for its part in helping slash the number of polio victims from hundreds of thousands a year to single figures.
Roger Kendrick, president of Kirkham and Rural Fylde Rotary Club, said: “ We must continue the fight until the world is free of Polio.
“We’re almost there. To have been able to show this film prior to its general release to raise funds for research and the final push is a privilege.”
Lowther Cinema continues its film season this week with films for Halloween and half term including the Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Addams Family, Dr Zhivago and Cars 3. Details at www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk