The Welsh film Save the Cinema launches on Sky Cinema today and tells the true story of the fight to save Carmarthenshire’s Lyric Theatre.

Directed by Rhyl-born Sara Sugarman, the film illustrates how the resolve of a small Welsh town, inspired by the magic of cinema, was able to bring Tinseltown to their doorstep.

Samantha Morton leads the cast alongside Jonathan Pryce, Tom Felton, and Adeel Akhtar.

Carmarthenshire County Council worked 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 economy by around £750,000 already, with more economic benefit expected in the coming months.

The Lyric is one of a number of venues in Wales - which include Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard; Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan and the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven - to screen the film.

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 , 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.”

The release of the film comes at a crucial time for Welsh cinemas as many have reported a reduction of 50-70% in audiences since the introduction of the COVID pass in Wales, with some even considering temporary closure.

Film Hub Wales is promoting the film in partnership with Sky Cinema, as part of their Made in Wales strategy, which celebrates films with Welsh connections.

Hana Lewis, Film Hub Wales’ Strategic Manager, said: “Having this message about the value of cinema to our communities, wrapped up in a Welsh film at this moment in time, feels like a gift.

"Cinemas have fought tirelessly to remain open for their audiences throughout COVID, offering crucial services that have tackled isolation during the pandemic.

"To avoid closures, cinemas need us to turn up for them now and show our support. With a feel-good film like Save the Cinema, that reflects our Welsh community spirit, it feels like a great opportunity to do just that," she added.

Where will Save the Cinema be on in Welsh cinemas?

As well as being on Sky Cinema, the film will be playing in a number of Welsh theatres.

·   Aberystwyth Arts Centre (January 14-21) 

·   Brynamman Public Hall (January 14-21) 

·   Cellb, Blaenau Ffestiniog (January 14-17) 

·   Gwyn Hall, Neath (January 14-21) 

·   Kinokulture, Oswestry (January 14-17) 

·   Lyric Theatre, Camarthen (January 14-28) 

·   Pontio, Bangor (January 14-20) 

·   Premiere Cinemas, Cardiff (January 14-21) 

·   Reel Cinema, Port Talbot (January 14-20) 

·   Showcase Cinema, Cardiff (Nantgarw) (January 14) 

·   The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth (January 14-20) 

·   Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard (January 14-16) 

·   Theatr Mwldan (January 14-18) 

·   Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells (January 14-81)   

From the 17th January 2022 

·   Taliesin, Swansea (January 17) 

From the 21st January 2022 

·   Chapter, Cardiff (January 21-28) 

From the 28th January 2022 

·   The Torch, Milford Haven (January 28 – February 1)