PM's visit to Hollywood
WHEN a booking arrives in the name of Brown, you don't necessarily expect the prime minister, his sons and entourage to stroll through the doors.But that was the exact scenario for staff at the Hollywood Cinema, on Sunday evening, as Gordon Brown made a surprise visit to Lowestoft.
WHEN a booking arrives in the name of Brown, you don't necessarily expect the prime minister, his sons and entourage to stroll through the doors.
But that was the exact scenario for staff at the Hollywood Cinema, on Sunday evening, as Gordon Brown made a surprise visit to Lowestoft.
While holidaying in north Suffolk, see picture left, the prime minister and his sons John and James booked a trip to town to watch Wall-E on the big screen at the Hollywood, in London Road South.
They arrived in an executive car, walked into the venue flanked by three security guards, smiled as they paid for their reserved seats and then ordered pick 'n' mix and popcorn from the kiosk before taking their seats to watch the film.
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And for Michael Hansell, the Hollywood Cinema manager, at Lowestoft, it all happened so quickly.
“It was unbelievable really,” he told The Journal. “We had a telephone call on Sunday with a reservation for six in the name of Brown - and shortly before the film started on Sunday tea-time this big, black vehicle pulled up outside the main entrance.
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“They all came in - the prime minister, his children and entourage - there were six people in total,” he said. “It was unreal - they were just standard customers who bought some pick 'n' mix and popcorn before going to their seats.”
With screen two at the venue boasting an auditorium that was three-quarters full, the Browns slipped quietly into their seats and kept a low profile.
“It was very strange. They got in before anyone really clicked who he was,” Mr Hansell said. “A couple of comments were made to the staff members that were working on the day, but only when the family came out, with the car already waiting for them as they walked straight out, did a handful of parents point Mr Brown out to their children.”
Revealing that the venue had hosted celebrity guests before, Mr Hansell added: “To get the man in charge of the country walking out with a throng of guests was unbelievable.”
Hollywood Cinemas managing director Trevor Wicks told The Journal: “It's nice that the prime minister chose Lowestoft to watch Wall-E. He deserves a break and it's pleasing that he came to Lowestoft to see such a marvellous film.”
The Browns also visited the Southwold maize maze after owner Bella Hall invited them to attend at a quieter time. Mr Brown did not enter the maze but his wife, two sons and a nanny had a great time adventuring among the ears of corn in the early evening of Wednesday. They even took on the orienteering challenge and managed to collect all the stamps hidden within the maze.