Palace Theatre in Longridge produces tear-jerking 'John Lewis' style advert for under £1000

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Palace Theatre, one of the oldest cinemas in the North West, has created their own 'John Lewis' style Christmas advert with the help of the local community.


The advert was created by owner Lara Hewitt with the help of director Stephan Bookas, 17-year-old film student Jake Mark and local residents, including artist Catrin Williams.

With the help of the local community, the film was made for just under 1000. (Credit: Google Maps)

With the help of the local community, the film was made for just under 1000. (Credit: Google Maps)

Hewitt was first inspired to produce an advert after hearing a song by Glyn Shipman - who lives in neighbouring village Ribchester - on an open mic night.

Hewitt said: "When I first heard the song I knew I wanted to make some kind of video for it like a music video.

"I put out a call out and people from the local community got together to help with the project.

"Filming took about two and a half days, but it took about a week and ten days to edit everything."

The advert tells the story of a couple who met at the cinema andare still regular visitors to this day.(Credit: Palace Films)

The advert tells the story of a couple who met at the cinema andare still regular visitors to this day.(Credit: Palace Films)

With the help of the local community, the film was made for just under £1000, with locals providing make-up, lighting, and even a vintage car for the shoot.

The advert has currently amassed over 10,000 views on YouTube since it premiered on Sunday (December 8), with people commenting that the advert brought tears to their eyes.

The Palace Theatre was originally built as a weaving shed, but was converted into a cinema and music hall in 1912.

The cinema was turned into a roller rink and bingo hall in the 1950s, but was converted back into a cinema in the 1970s

READ MORE >> Longridge's Palace Cinema opens bigger and better than ever before after five month refurbishment

What is the advert about?

It tells the story of a couple - Tony Freeman, 81, and his wife Carol, 75 - who met at the cinema and are still regular visitors to this day.

The advert begins with Tony stood outside the cinema eating sweets from a paper bag and reminiscing about when he visited the cinema as a child.

The scene goes back in time to a group of young girls who are going to watch a film.

Before the film starts, sweets are thrown at them by a row of boys behind them.

When one girl - Carol - turns around to throw sweets back, she spots Tony and gestures that she is keeping her eye on him, starting a decades long romance.

The advert cuts back to present day and shows Tony smiling at the memory with tears in his eyes.

The next scene features a teenage Tony and Carol on a date at the cinema.

The pair try to sneak a kiss, but are interrupted by the film starting.

In the next scene, we see the couple several years later watching another film in the cinema and sharing a bag of sweets.

They're engaged and expecting their first child.

The next scene skips forward a few more years, by which point Tony and Carol are joined by their three children.

As a modern-day Tony smiles at a young couple who are pushing their pram into the cinema, the advert skips back to when Tony pushed Carol in a wheelchair into the movie theatre.

Now an elderly couple, Tony and Carol tuck into their bag of sweets as the screen fades to black.

We're then back with Tony who enters the cinema and hands over a Christmas card to the sales assistant behind the counter.

The card contains a handwritten message urging him to 'keep dreaming', and a £10 gift voucher for the Palace.

The advert goes back in time again and shows Carol writing the card and wrapping up a bag of sweets in Christmas paper.

At the cinema Tony, who we now know is a widow, is joined by his grandchildren who accompany him into the cinema as it begins to snow outside.