OSCAR winning director Ron Howard’s new film about the Beatles is to be given its world premiere Liverpool, it was announced today.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years is the first feature-length documentary authorised by The Group since its breakup in 1970.
The surprise announcement comes just 14 days before the event. The long held venue for the world premiere - in the diary for some months - has been London’s Odeon Leicester Square.
That’s still happening, but Liverpool plans to pull the official red carpet from under the A List by screening the movie half an hour EARLIER than London - thus technically taking the title.
Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson is hosting the Liverpool event to an invitation-only audience of local VIPs, it says here.
He remarked: “This is a huge coup for Liverpool, but where else could the world premiere of a film dedicated to The Beatles take place?”
Howard has come a long way since Happy Days, taking Academy Awards for feature films such as A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13.
Now the focus is on the Fabs and the latest outing explores the history of the Beatles through their concert performances, from the early days playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg to their unprecedented world tours in packed stadiums from New York to Melbourne to Tokyo.
The film will be screened at FACT in Wood Street on Thursday September 15. Following the invitation-only event, the cinema doors will be reopened at 8.45pm to a selection of the great unwashed who will be treated to a second screening after having successfully applied for free tickets. *See below for details if you want to be among them.
Eight Days a Week features rare and never-before-seen archival footage of shows and interviews, plus new interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
It is said to capture the exhilaration of The Beatles’ phenomenal rise to fame as well as the toll it eventually took on the band members, prompting them to stop touring altogether in August 1966, channelling their energy into a series of defining studio recordings for which they are best known today.
The Cavern's Bill Heckle said: “The amazing story of the Beatles is a part of Liverpool’s history and heritage which can still be very much seen and heard on the streets of the city today. It’s very fitting that the first sights and sounds of this film will start here before it reverberates once again around the world.”
FACT’s Executive Director Jo Wright says: “We are delighted to be premiering this prestigious film here at FACT with our cinema partners Picturehouse.
“Together, we look forward to welcoming people from near and far to come and enjoy the story of this fascinating time in Liverpool's history, recognising its importance for local culture, communities and the economy of the region."
*Anyone who would like to be among the first in the world to see the 100 minute, 12A rated film at FACT's free screening following the VIP premiere on Thursday September 15 needs to go apply here and fill in the form OR email here with their full name and contact details. Tickets are limited, each will include a plus one, and a full list of terms of conditions are on the Culture Liverpool website. The deadline for applications is 5pm Wednesday 7 September.