Save the Cinema is hitting the big screen this week, and it is set to become a feel-good British classic.
It follows the story of a small town where the residents persuaded Tinseltown to help them revive a local institution.
Here’s everything you need to know about the story behind the movie.
What is Save the Cinema about?
The Sky synopsis says: “Save The Cinema illustrates how the resolve of a small Welsh town, inspired by the magic of cinema, was able to bring Tinseltown to their doorstep.
“The sleepy town of Carmarthen in Wales is not exactly the first place to spring to mind when thinking of Hollywood blockbusters. But this changed in 1993 when the town council made the unwelcome announcement that The Lyric Theatre – the town’s much-loved but financially stricken cinema – would be demolished so a shopping centre could be built in its place.
“It’s down to Liz Evans, hairdresser and linchpin to the local community, to stand up for the ailing cinema and stop the bulldozers. As she and her friends barricade themselves in the theatre, she reaches out to postman turned town councillor Richard (Tom Felton) for help – and they come up with a grand plan.
“To revitalise the cinema and stop the council taking the heart of the community away, a desperate Liz persuades Richard to write to Hollywood to ask for a helping hand. One late-night phone call later and one of Hollywood’s most legendary filmmakers throws The Lyric a monster-sized lifeline and a premiere Carmarthen will never forget. But will this be enough to save The Lyric?”
The original script for the movie was written by one of Liz’s sons Mark.
Her other son Wynne is better known as Gio Compario, the singer in the Go Compare adverts.
Is it a true story?
Yes, it was based on a true story.
Elizabeth “Liz” Evans was a hairdresser who also ran the Lyric Theatre in King Street as a community theatre.
She had been voluntarily organising performances by youths for the Carmarthen Further Education Centre from 1979.
In 1986 she persuaded the local council to take the Lyric over and use it for her shows and to screen movies as well.
She redeveloped the theatre, managing to get European Union funding and stars such as Welsh opera singer Sir Geraint Evans on board.
But when she heard it was due to be demolished she started a campaign to stop it.
Key to this, was in persuading Stephen Spielberg to make the Lyric one of the first places showing Jurassic Park in 1993.
Despite promising to screen the film in Carmarthen, the distributors of Jurassic Park reneged on their word and Liz went on a campaign to persuade Spielberg to step in.
Wynne told the Daily Mail: “Mum was a bit of a maverick. I thought at the time she was just an eccentric. But she was an inspiring person who didn’t take no for an answer.”
Liz made the local mayor Richard Goodridge write to him, saying: “Dear Mr Spielberg, I have just been informed that your latest film Jurassic Park will not be seen here at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen.
“The Lyric Theatre has advertised extensively that the film is to be shown and indeed thousands now believe it will be shown here.
“However, many thousands are now going to be disappointed, not least to say, very angry that this has happened.
“People have postponed their holidays to see it. I am appealing to you to avert a crisis and look forward to an urgent response.”
It took less than a week for the managing director of United International Pictures, to reply: “In order not to disappoint the people of Carmarthen, I have given instructions for a print of Jurassic Park to be allocated to the Lyric Cinema.”
In order to be first to show it in the UK, Liz reportedly started the movie a few minutes earlier than the premiere in London, which was attended by Princess Diana.
“She was determined to have the first showing, so we ‘may’ have started a few minutes early,” Wayne added. “My mother was very determined when she needed to be.
He said: “I think there was a message from Spielberg read out at the start of the film. It was a fabulous occasion. Everybody was cheering.”
The 600-seat theatre was sold out at £2.50 a ticket.
Liz was later granted an MBE and retired in 2004 after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.
Sadly, she died of pneumonia at the age of 60 a few months later.
When can I watch it?
Save The Cinema, a Sky Original is released on Sky Cinema and in cinemas from 14 January.
The film will also be available on streaming service NOW via the Sky Cinema Membership.