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Lowestoft celebrates 30 years of cinema and Ghostbusters

PUBLISHED: 16:07 23 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:07 23 October 2014

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Photograph Simon Parker

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Photograph Simon Parker

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Who you gonna call? Marina Theatre!

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most loved films from the 1980s, Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre is screening a special performance of Ghostbusters – which has a prominent place in the town’s heart.

History of cinema in Lowestoft

• The Odeon cinema opened on January 23 1937

• The Man Who Could Work Miracles, starting Roland Young, was the first film shown

• The Odeon closed on April 25 1979 with Live and Let Die the last film shown

• It was demolished in May 1979 and a shopping centre was built

• The Marina was converted from an ice rink in 1897

• It was a live venue until 1929 and with the onset of cinema and was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas in 1931

• It closed as a cinema on Christmas Eve 1984.

• On October 1 1988 the Marina reopened as a live entertainment venue and cinema.

• Lowestoft is also home to the East Coast

Who you gonna call? Marina Theatre!

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most loved films from the 1980s, Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre is screening a special performance of Ghostbusters – which has a prominent place in the town’s heart.

For it is 30 years since the science fantasy comedy film was released – and it is also 30 years since cinema returned to Lowestoft.

And to mark this movie milestone, a very special visitor will descend on Lowestoft – as Mr Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a 30ft high inflatable character made famous in the hit film – will be outside British Home Stores in London Road North next Tuesday as part of the Marina’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Ghostbusters film facts

• Ghostbusters was made on a budget of $30 million and made $295.2 million at the box office

• It was the most successful comedy film of the 1980s

• Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote the film. Ramis, who also wrote Groundhog Day staring Bill Murray, died in February this year of complications of Vasculitis- a group of disorders that destroy blood vessels by inflammation

• Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts also stared in the film

• The film was nominated for two Oscars at the 57th Academy Awards; Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song, but lost to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Woman in Red, respectively

• The theme song, ‘Ghostbusters’, was written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr. and sparked the catchphrases; ‘Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!’ and ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghost’

• Ghostbusters II was released in 1989 and an animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, was also created

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Ghostbusters movie, the Marina are screening a special performance of the film on Halloween – and Mr Stay Puft is coming along to publicise the event.

Ghostbusters, which starred Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and the late Harold Ramis as four parapsychologists in New York City who start a ghost-catching business, plays an important role in the return of cinema to Lowestoft.

The town had been without a cinema for some time following the demolition of the Odeon in 1979, and the then Marina was also derelict.

So, managers at the former District Amenities Department started screening films at the Sparrow’s Nest Theatre – and it was the enormous success of the Ghostbusters screening that saw a full programme of big screen entertainment introduced back into the town.

The 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters is being celebrated in Lowestoft.  Bill Murray (left),  the late Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd.The 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters is being celebrated in Lowestoft. Bill Murray (left), the late Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd.

The cinema later transferred back to the Marina Theatre in October 1988 following restoration of the venue. Initially films at the Sparrow’s Nest were presented in 16mm, before a second hand 35mm projector was purchased. The initial success led to a brand new 35mm projector being purchased which later transferred to the Marina and served the Theatre for more than 25 years before a full digital upgrade two years ago. The former projector is now proudly displayed in the Theatre Café.

Thirty years on and the Marina now boasts one of the largest cinema screens in the region, and after a £250,000 investment in the Theatre’s sound, screen and projection equipment, the film will be presented in full digital clarity for the very first time in the town.

Next week, there might be something strange in the neighbourhood, but you don’t need to call the Ghostbusters if you see a giant man made of marshmallows in the town.

Even though he was the physical manifestation of Gozer, the shape shifting god and main villain in the film, you can visit the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – if you’re not afraid of no ghosts!

He’ll be outside British Home Stores on London Road North on Tuesday, for people to visit, between 11am-4pm, and will also be inside the Marina free of charge.

A spokesman for the Marina said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of cinema returning to Lowestoft, with the visit on Tuesday of Mr Stay Puft and a special screening of the film that through its popularity made this possible next Friday.

“Without the original foresight of the managers at the former District Amenities Department, cinema may have never returned to the town.”

So, if you think you can take down Slimer and have your uniform and proton pack ready, then drive your Ecto-1 down to the Marina and enter the fancy dress competition, which will be taking place before the screening next Friday, October 31 which starts at 7.30pm.

Advanced tickets cost £4 each and for more information call the Marina Theatre box office on 01502 533200 or visit http://marinatheatre.co.uk

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