Filed under: Kieren Jones, Uncategorized | Tags: amateur, Amateurism, Cinema, Community, film, Folk
The La Charrette movie theater, which was known as the smallest cinema in Wales, finally had to shut down its operation recently.
It was started up in 1953 by the late Gwyn Phillips in the little town of Gorseinon near Swansea. The townsfolk had no local cinema to attend during those golden days of the movies, so Phillips purchased an old railway carriage and had it dragged into the yard behind his townhouse and converted it into a 23-seat movie palace.
It has served the community well for over 50 years, lately operated by his widow. But the old railcar has been crumbling and reached a state where it wasn’t feasible to repair it any further. So it announced that it would have to darken its projectors and shut down.
A noted BBC film critic, Mark Kermode, heard about it and organized a grand exit for the old flickerhouse. After contacting all the movie moguls in the UK, he arranged for La Charrette’s final screening to be a World Premier of a science-fiction comedy starring Kenneth Branagh and Courtney Cox. And they did it up right, with Mr. Branagh attending the formal affair. They even had the wide, red carpet laid from the street, through the spacing between the houses up to the the carriage. The locals were treated to Limo’s & the longest serving member officially opened the film.
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