Simon Pegg and Richard Curtis back London mayor's film campaign

Six free film screenings will take place as part of the campaign.

Actor Simon Pegg and director Richard Curtis have backed a new campaign by the mayor of London urging people to return to the cinema.

Sadiq Khan’s Back to the Big Screen initiative will host free screenings of films set or made in London in Trafalgar Square, central London, later this month for 1,500 people as part of the campaign.

The campaign is also being supported by film organisations including Bafta, the British Film Institute and Film London.

Yesterday UK Premiere – London
Richard Curtis (Ian West/PA)

The six free screenings will take place in Trafalgar Square in partnership with Luna Cinema.

Rocks, Skyfall, Mary Poppins, Star Wars: A New Hope, Paddington 2 and Bend It Like Beckham will be shown from August 26 to 29.

Mr Khan is also urging people to go to other cinemas to boost the film industry.

He said: “London is a global capital for film production and our cinemas are a huge draw for Londoners and tourists alike, but the last 17 months have been incredibly challenging for the whole industry.

“TV and boxsets helped so many of us through lockdown, but with cinemas opening their doors again and big screens installed in public spaces, I’m joining with industry leaders to encourage everyone to get back to the big screen to rediscover the magic of film and also support our central London hospitality businesses.

“By hosting six free screenings in Trafalgar Square of films either made or set in our capital, I want to remind everyone of the joy of getting together to watch a film and make the most of everything our capital has to offer.”

Coronavirus – Wed Jun 16, 2021
Sadiq Khan (Yui Mok/PA)

Pegg said: “I’m supporting the mayor of London’s initiative to get people back into the capital’s world-class cinemas.

“The pandemic has hit this integral part of London’s cultural heart hard.

“It’s time to fill these spaces again and feel the thrill and magic of theatrical cinema.”

Curtis said: “I’m really delighted to hear about this movie plan by the mayor of London.

“Many of my happiest memories in London are to do with going to the cinema and then going on to enjoy all the other wonders of the city.”

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