The true story of “Save the Cinema” (2022) revolves around the saving of the Lyric Cinema in Carmarthen, Wales, from closing down in 1993 through the campaign of Liz Evans. Written by Piers Ashworth and Lorraine King, “Save the Cinema” is directed by Sara Sugarman. Read the article to know the full story of how the cinema was stopped from closing.
The scene opens with a projectionist preparing to play a film in the Lyric Cinema. Young Liz is playing a part in a school play in 1964, and then the scene shifts to 1993, where Liz Evans (Samantha Morton) is helping a young stage actor and Carmarthen Youth Opera is performing at the Lyric Cinema. The opera ends with cheerful claps from the audience, and Liz is seen talking to Mr. Morgan (Jonathan Pryce), who used to control sound and light when Liz was a child actor. Liz’s husband David (Owain Yeoman), who also used to act with Liz, interrupts their conversation and both ask Mr. Morgan to visit their home sometime. The next morning Liz and her employee Dolly (Susan Wokoma) are talking in the saloon about what drama she should challenge the children with. At that time Carol comes with her daughter and asks Liz for just a trim, but as she leaves, Liz asks Carol’s daughter what she really wants. The crazy entrance of Mayor Tom Jenkins (Adeel Akhtar) with his walkman, who also used to act in school drama with Liz and David occurs in the story. The scene shifts to the saloon, where Carol gets stunned to see her daughter with pink hair. Back again at the mayor’s office, we see Susan (Erin Richards) and Richard (Tom Felton) conversing about their school days. Richard asks the Mayor for help to set up an adult education center and invites him to a gathering on Saturday. Martin enters the mayor’s office, who wants to demolish the Lyric Cinema to make a commercial center. Though Mayor Tom hesitates a bit at first, he says he will go ahead with this plan.
Susan drops in on Liz’s saloon and wants a trim, and they talk about her desire for a career in politics and how weird the mayor is. The scene shifts to Richard attending the small gathering and the mayor introducing him to various people. He again sees Susan and tries to converse while the mayor drags him away from there. On the other side of town, Liz, announces “Oliver” as their next topic for the opera. Richard, who is one of the council members of Carmarthen, is tricked by the mayor into voting for the building of a commercial center in place of the Lyric Cinema, and the motion is passed. We see auditions for the next project Liz is putting together, and Susan comes and tells Liz that they are going to demolish the Lyric Cinema. Liz storms into the place where the mayor is eating and challenges him, getting a month’s extension for the demolition. David says how brilliant she was in that and consoles her. The children perform “Oliver” successfully and Liz lonely wanders in the Lyric Cinema, where she later sleeps. The next morning David comes, worried about not finding her home, and Liz tells him that she is not going to let them demolish the Lyric Cinema, hearing which David leaves angrily. The bulldozers are shooed away by Liz, and Martin comes knocking on the mayor. He assures him that the woman will be dealt with and the workers can start demolishing the next day. Dolly comes with the saloon equipment at the Lyric Cinema, supports Liz’s stand, and also says she has booked one customer already. The mayor comes to Liz, but he is not successful in persuading her, and we see customers of the saloon on stage. Liz’s sons arrive and give her some essential things and also tell her to call David. Later, Mr. Morgan arrives to give Liz company, and he tells her how he used to work as a projectionist before he was a teacher at Liz’s school. They hatch an idea to show a film at the Lyric Cinema.
The bulldozers again arrive, and they are shooed off not only by Liz but also by his boys and Dolly who are present at the Lyric. When Richard comes to tell the mayor about the bin problem, he asks him to get photos of how they are illegally running a saloon inside the Lyric, so that the police can throw her out. Richard asks Susan out for a drink, which she refuses, as she is angry with him for voting for the motion of demolition for the Lyric. David arrives at the Lyric to meet Liz and tries to sway her decision, but he is unable to do so. Mr. Morgan arrives with film rolls, but Liz is quite worried as they are black and white films and wonders who would watch them. The scene shifts to film posters being made by kids, and Mr. Morgan stepping in again as a projectionist. All the kids go over to the town to distribute the posters. We see people flocking to the Lyric Cinema and also Richard getting in the hall. It is a massive success, and the people just loved the film. The next morning, the police arrive and try to arrest Liz, but Susan comes to the rescue and saves them by saying the saloon equipment is stage props for the play “Hairspray”. Liz and her family have dinner on the stage along with Mr. Morgan, and they all want to bring a new film that would attract the kids as well. Everyone leaves except Liz, and later David comes back with flowers to apologize to Liz. Two of her sons came running the next morning to show in a magazine the best films they could play, and they select Jurassic Park. When David goes to Mr. Morgan’s house to give back the film roll, he finds out that Mr. Morgan has passed away. When everyone is at the funeral of Mr. Morgan, the mayor calls Martin to bring in the bulldozers, which Susan overhears and rushes to tell everyone at the funeral. Listening to the news, Richard bolts onto his bike, reaches the scene, and hops onto the bulldozer, not allowing it to demolish the Lyric. The mayor tells the police to arrest him, and in the meantime, everyone else arrives and asks the police officer to arrest them too. The issue resolves when the police tell the mayor to bring the bulldozers with a court order only. Susan tells Richard how she misjudged him and also tells him that he could run for the mayor’s position in Carmarthen.
Everyone is seen preparing for Richard’s mayoral campaign and the current mayor, Tom Jenkins, vents out his anger. Liz tells Dolly that the distributors of Jurassic Park have said that they will not provide a copy to a soon-to-be-demolished cinema hall, so she is writing a letter to Mr. Steven Spielberg. Dolly enters the room in the next scene to find a sad Liz, who tells her that there is no news from Mr. Spielberg. Dolly cheers her up by saying not to break down and see how much she has achieved, and she asks her to go out and vote for Richard. We see Richard beating Tom for the mayor’s position and also get a call from LA about the letter Liz has sent to Mr. Spielberg. Liz later talks with Mr. Spielberg in the mayor’s office and lets Richard and Susan know excitedly that he will provide the film. Richard and Liz are interviewed by news channels, and Liz’s whole family watches it and cheers for her in the Lyric Cinema. Richard is called to London for a show, and we see Susan, Dolly, and Liz’s family watching the show in the Lyric Cinema, where Richard expresses his fondness for Susan indirectly. When Richard returns to the Lyric Cinema, Susan tells him that she would go for a drink with him, and Dolly offers them her cocktails, later, Susan kisses Richard. We see people, and news media buzzing in front of the Lyric Cinema, and the premiere becomes a huge success, saving the Lyric Cinema from closing down.
The Ending Of ‘Save The Cinema’
Art is something that touches every human soul in a multitude of ways. Preserving any form of art and heritage must be the duty of an upstanding citizen. What Liz does in “Save the Cinema” is an echo to the world to fight for what is worth saving and preserving.