Man rents cinema to propose to girlfriend

It's a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie - but recreated in a Lancashire cinema.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 2:38 pm
Updated Friday, 12th August 2016, 3:39 pm
Luigi Lebaldi and Kirsty Cole celebrate their engagement after Luigi's romantic proposal at the Dukes Cinema.

Romantic Luigi Lebaldi proposed to his girlfriend, Kirsty Cole at a private screening of the film they originally saw on their first date.

Wanting the big moment to be a memorable one, Luigi hired a cinema screen at Lancaster’s Dukes Theatre, and invited friends and family to join the audience.

When the couple arrived at The Dukes, unbeknown to Kirsty, their loved ones were already seated in the darkened auditorium and the film had begun – as arranged.

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Luigi Lebaldi's big screen proposal to Kirsty Cole at the Dukes Cinema, Lancaster.

The Dukes staff all played their parts perfectly as Kirsty and Luigi were escorted to the back of the cinema and enjoyed Meryl Streep comedy The Devil Wears Prada, just as they did 10 years ago on their first date as Morecambe High School sixth formers.

However this time, as the credits rolled, Luigi got down on one knee, the lights went up, the proposal flashed on the screen, and all their nearest and dearest were there to join in the celebrations.

Gobsmacked Kirsty said: I was speechless and started crying. It was the best day of my life.”

Luigi approached The Dukes to hire the cinema for the proposal and programmer, Johnathan Ilott, was happy to accept the unusual request.

Luigi Lebaldi's big screen proposal to Kirsty Cole at the Dukes Cinema, Lancaster.

And Luigi went to great lengths to ensure the day would be extra special for Kirsty, 27, who works at Asda.

Luigi designed the engagement ring along with Firth’s jewellers and treated Kirsty to a new outfit as well as hair and make-up at the Beau Tink salon above Blow Your Top barbers where he is a customer.

Kirsty said: “I had arranged to go out with a friend but he had unusually cancelled on me so Luigi said let’s make a day of it together instead but I had no idea what he had planned.”

The couple plan to get married in 2018.

“I wanted the proposal to be a bit out of the ordinary,” said Luigi, a 26-year-old teaching assistant at Central Lancaster High School.

“I thought it would be special to recreate our first date but along with our family and friends this time.

“I wanted our engagement to be extra special and I think I succeeded!”