Oscar winner for Cinema City gala

EMMA LEE Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush will be guest of honour when a much-loved Norwich cinema reopens later this month, it has been revealed.Cinema City moves back to its home in St Andrew's Street on Friday October 19 after a multi-million pound revamp.

EMMA LEE

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush will be guest of honour when a much-loved Norwich cinema reopens later this month, it has been revealed.

Cinema City moves back to its home in St Andrew's Street on Friday October 19 after a multi-million pound revamp.

And to mark the event, there will be a special gala regional premiere of one of the year's most hotly anticipated costume dramas - Elizabeth:The Golden Age - at the venue on Thursday October 25.


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Rush and the film's director Shekhar Kapur will host a question and answer session after the screening, which will be filmed and beamed live to cinemas across the UK by satellite.

It's particularly appropriate that the film, which stars Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I, is premiering at Cinema City.

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In 1578 Elizabeth I visited the city accompanied by Sir Francis Walsingham, the character Rush plays in the film.

She granted Robert Suckling the augmentation of a sprig of honeysuckle to his family coat of arms for his good and loyal service.

A significant part of the buildings which now make up Cinema City is Suckling Hall, the former home of the Suckling family.

The Great Hall of the house is now the cinema bar and an ancient stained glass window survives to this day showing the Suckling family stag with the royal addition.

Cinema City director David Litchfield said: “It's an honour to have Geoffrey attending the screening. You could say an Oscar winner for an Oscar quality cinema. I think it's indicative of the quality of talent that Cinema City will bring to Norwich.”

Cinema City was the country's very first regional film theatre. More than £4m has been spent on its extensive makeover, including the addition of two new screens and state of the art digital projection facilities which will allow it to show a wider selection of films. The new Cinema City has been made possible with financial support from Arts Council England East, the East of England Development Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mike Leigh, Dame Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes have taken out seat dedications at the new cinema and Emma Thompson and Ken Loach have sent letters of support.

Elizabeth:The Golden Age goes on general release on November 2 and also stars Clive Owen and Abbie Cornish. The follow-up to the 1998 Elizabeth, which won seven Oscar nominations, sees Elizabeth I finding her rule openly challenged by Philip II of Spain.

t Born in Queensland, Australia, Geoffrey Rush's acting career began in the 1970s. An accomplished stage actor and director in his home country, his international profile rocketed in 1996 when he became the first Australian-born person to win an academy award for acting for his moving portrayal of piano prodigy David Helfgott in the film Shine. The versatile actor's impressive movie CV also includes roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Shakespeare in Love, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his portrayal of the comedy legend, and Munich.

Tickets to the gala evening cost £25. To book contact 0871 704 2053.

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