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Sky Cinema original ‘Save The Cinema’ filmed in Carmarthen to hit local screen

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has annonuced that it has secured a two-week showing of Sky Cinema original movie Save The Cinema at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre – the very subject of the film.

Welsh Government Covid-19 restrictions meant that plans to premiere the film at Carmarthen had to be called off, but the council has since brought specialist equipment in to allow people to see the film being screened in the very place it was filmed during 2021.

The film is based on a true story inspired by the life of Carmarthen hairdresser Liz Evans who called on Hollywood to save her local cinema.

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 film stars Golden Globe-winning Samantha Morton as the main character, supported by Oscar-nominated Jonathan Pryce, Harry Potter star Tom Felton and Keith Allen among others. Filming started last year and parts of the town were transformed to look like the early 1990s when the film is set.

Carmarthenshire County Council has been working closely with Sky Cinema throughout the production, supporting the filming of key scenes at The Lyric, in streets around Carmarthen, in council offices in Ammanford, and in other areas of the county such as Laugharne and Llandeilo.

The film has boosted the local econonmy by around £750,000 already, with more economic benefit expected in the coming months.

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.

Supporting filming in Carmarthenshire is one of the council’s key aims because of the money it brings into the county.

Council leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “We were delighted to host the production of this fantastic film earlier this year, with scenes filmed in Carmarthen, Ammanford, Laugharne and Llandeilo. And now to screen it in the place where it was filmed is just the icing on the cake. Carmarthenshire has proven itself again and again to be a desirable destination for the media and it’s enjoying a growing reputation as a filming location for major television dramas and movies, with several award-winning productions finding their home here in Carmarthenshire. Attracting national and international productions such as this has a major impact on the growth of our economy and ensures that our communities reap the benefits.”

Tickets for the screenings in The Lyric, from January 14-30, can be booked at www.theatrausirgar.co.uk. Bookings will only be allowed for maximum groups of six, and seating will be socially distanced. A Covid Pass will be required.

The film is also showing on Sky Cinema from Friday, January 14.

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Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre celebrates the building of the iconic Star Wars starship

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A MILLENNIUM FALCON exhibition is opening to the public in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre in West Wales on Monday, May 23, thanks to £8,000 funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The permanent installation tells the story of the building of a life-sized model of the iconic Star Wars starship in the town in 1979 for the Oscar-winning film The Empire Strikes Back.

“The worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock.” 

Craftsmen from a local engineering firm built the model – the first of its type ever constructed, in the Western Hangar – a former RAF aircraft hangar in the town’s dockyard.

“It was the worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock – everybody in the town knew they were building a UFO in the hangar and that period of time and that story is an important part of the town’s living memory” remembers Gareth Mills, a trustee of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are now able to tell the story of the building of the Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock – an iconic event to fans across the globe, in a new and permanent exhibition. The exhibition will provide a significant boost for Pembroke Dock with increased visitor numbers helping with the economic regeneration of our town and will also have major benefits for Pembrokeshire.”

“One of the most iconic starships in science fiction history”

Work on the Millennium Falcon exhibition at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre has been going on for some time under the watchful eye of local Star Wars expert and enthusiast Mark Williams.

“George Lucas set a new standard in both storytelling and film making with Star Wars and the story of the Millennium Falcon being built in Pembroke Dock was big news at the time. The whole world knew about it, then the story faded into legend.”

“The idea of a town in West Wales making a significant contribution to this incredible story by being the place where one of the most iconic starships in science fiction history was built, creates a mixture of disbelief, awe and pride.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded towards creating a permanent display in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre about the building of the Millennium Falcon model.

A walk-through display will tell the story with photographs, film, models and costumes.

“Pembroke Dock – the birthplace of the first-ever life-sized model of the Millennium Falcon – now has a permanent exhibition for an often overlooked and largely unknown but major Welsh contribution to film and cinema history and popular culture,” said Andrew White, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales.

“The funding for the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust has been made possible by National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million every week for good causes in the UK. It is just one of the more than 635,000 good causes in the UK that has received a share of over £41 billion raised by National Lottery players since 1994.”

The Millennium Falcon isn’t Pembrokeshire’s only connection to Star Wars. Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm EVP and General Manager, is a Pembrokeshire native. “I am so delighted that this wonderful moment and place in Star Wars history will be preserved,” said Lynwen Brennan. 

“I love that such an iconic, beloved ship was built in the town where my Mum was born and in the county where I grew up, and I’m hopeful this exhibit will become a new destination for fans around the world.”

Andrew White,Director of the National Lottery heritage Fund in Wales said “Wales has a proud tradition of myths and legends to which we can now add the little-know story of Wales’ contribution to the Star Wars films.This new exhibition showcases Pembroke Dock as the birthplace of the first life-sized model of the Millenium Falcon. It’s a great example of one of our small grants going a long way , in this case to a galaxy, far away and back again”.

The funding for the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust has been made possible by National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million every week for good causes in the UK. It is just one of the more 635,000 good causes in the UK that has received a share of over £41 billion raised by National Lottery players since 1984.

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Housing Provider picks two Important Causes as its Charities of the Year

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Wales Air Ambulance

WALES & WEST HOUSING ASSOCIATION has chosen the Wales Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes as its charities of the year.

The two important causes will benefit from funds raised by staff during a two-year period after over 850 staff were invited to nominate charities that were close to their hearts.

A shortlist was drawn up of the most popular suggestions and staff voted for their preferred charity.

Diane Barnes, Senior Administrator at Wales & West Housing said: “The Wales Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes Wales had the most support.

“One of the staff members who nominated Wales Air Ambulance had personal experience of the service when one of the older residents living at the housing scheme she manages was taken ill. Wales Air Ambulance flew the resident to hospital and our staff member was in no doubt that the speed of the service was critical in saving the person’s life, so we are delighted to be able to support the Charity’s vital work.”

This will not be the first time that Wales & West Housing has raised funds for the Wales Air Ambulance, they raised more than £6,000 in 2006.

Some of the other charities they have supported in recent years include Cancer Research Wales, Stroke Association, Help For Heroes, Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Tenovus and Guide Dogs.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. 

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

Speaking on how valuable the company thinks the lifesaving service is, Diane added: “Wales Air Ambulance is hugely important. It saves lives every single day of the year. When we learned that the service relies entirely on public donations to keep their emergency helicopters flying to all parts of Wales, our staff were keen to help support the Charity and make a difference to its fundraising for the next two years.”

The staff kicked off its fundraising with an Easter egg raffle which raised more than £400.

Diane said: “We also have people running marathons, doing sponsored challenges and baking cakes over the coming months and are looking forward to many other innovative and fun fundraising ideas and suggestions that we can take part in and support over the next two years. We also asked staff to donate the odd number of pennies from their pay to our charity. This way we can raise thousands of pounds every year without having to do anything!

“In the past we have held regular raffles in our offices, bake sales, dress down days and special events such as a Ride the Nation charity cycling challenge from North to South Wales and a rugby tournament, which helped to raise money for a previous staff charity Age Cymru.”

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for the Wales Air Ambulance said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of Wales & West Housing’s charities of the year for the next two years. Support from businesses like Wales & West Housing is vital in helping us to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most.

“It sounds like Wales & West Housing have some exciting fundraising plans coming up and we wish them well. Their support of our lifesaving charity is much appreciated.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711. For more information on Wales & West Housing visit www.wwha.co.uk

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Community

Get Active with Pembrokeshire Leisure!

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Haverfordwest Leisure Centre

PEMBROKESHIRE Leisure have launched their new streamlined membership and pricing structure.

Membership options on offer to new customers have been reduced to make joining easier.

If you are a current member with a live membership, you will not be affected by the change. The new Active Memberships include Active Individual, Active Junior and Active Household. They will replace the previous Gold, Silver and Bronze memberships.

The pricing will also be made simpler by removing loyalty options. If you’re an existing loyalty subscription user you will continue to benefit from the loyalty price until the current subscription expires.

Gary Nicholas, Leisure Services Manager for Pembrokeshire said; “In order to simplify our pricing structure and as a reflection of current cost of living challenges, we have reviewed and changed our charges to provide excellent value to all our users.

He continued: “Pembrokeshire Leisure continues to offer our Passport to Leisure scheme to support those most in need, as well as offering the Welsh Government funded Free Swimming for the 60+ and 16 & under, Active for Life Programme and the National Exercise Referral scheme.

“Our facilities and services are here to provide active and social opportunities to everyone in our communities as we aim to promote and support a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.”

If you would like more information, please visit https://pembrokeshireleisure.co.uk/news/

You can now buy Active Memberships online or in any of our leisure centres.

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