FILM legend Edgar Wright has been named the first ever patron of the Mowlem Theatre charity.
The director, screenwriter and producer – whose credits include the seminal ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End – has been named patron of the Mowlem Institute Charity.
Edgar was born and raised in Swanage before moving to Wells, in Somerset, and the Mowlem was among destinations for him and his brother Oscar during a return to the town last summer.
Posting on Instagram, Edgar wrote: “Some films we saw at the Mowlem on first release include; the Ralph Bakshi animated ‘Lord Of The Rings’, ‘Watership Down’, ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ and ‘Clash Of The Titans’.
“So glad it’s still here and showing movies.”
Edgar also attended Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (now Arts University Bournemouth) in 1994, where he received a National Diploma in Audio-Visual Design before going on to make his first feature film, A Fistful of Fingers, a year later.
In 2018, the Arts University Bournemouth awarded Wright an Honorary Fellowship.
“I was born and raised in Dorset and lived in Swanage until I was seven,” the director said.
“The Mowlem was one of the first cinemas I ever attended, and it was partly responsible for a film fandom that continues to this day.”
And he said he was ‘thrilled’ to return to the Mowlem last summer and find it still showing movies.
“Standing in the auditorium again was a very pleasant experience, and I hope to be down again soon,” he added.
“I am proud to be a patron; I’m a film director now, but I never stopped being a film-goer. Keep up the great work.”
Trustees of the Mowlem Institute Charity said a plan to appoint a patron was an aspiration in its 2022 Business Plan – but not one we imagined would be fulfilled so quickly.
“Edgar is one of the most distinctive and influential filmmakers working in the UK today and it was fantastic to find out The Mowlem was his childhood cinema,” said chair of the charity, Paul Angel.
“We’ve been working hard to generate a feeling of renewal and excitement around The Mowlem, and what can be more exciting than having Edgar Wright as our Patron.”
Laura Dickens, trustee and fundraising project manager, added: “We are delighted that the brilliant Edgar Wright has agreed to be our first Patron.
“His endorsement of ‘The Mowlem’ as a seminal childhood cinema in the 1980s, just goes to show how important it is that we continue to provide top-quality film, music and theatre for future generations.”