Cinema transformed Hogwarts and all for bank's Potter show
IT is Edinburgh's only family-run cinema and JK Rowling's local picture-house.
The Dominion, in Morningside, just down the road from the author's Merchiston home, has played host to a whole host of celebrities and gala premieres since it opened in 1938.
But now the best-selling Edinburgh writer's world-famous creation is set to inspire the cinema's most unusual screening ever.
For a banking giant is paying for the Dominion to be transformed into Hogwarts Castle for the day - for a corporate hospitality bash.
A theatre-style set is to be built in the cinema's 350-capacity main auditorium for the event, organised by the Royal Bank of Scotland for a host of clients and their families. The Dominion also just happens to be on the doorstep of RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin.
Giant spiders and rats, burning torches, spooky music, atmospheric lights and overhead projections of Quidditch matches will all be used to get the audience in the mood for a screening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Guests will also be entertained by magicians, a string of costume-clad characters including Hagrid and Dumbledore, and demonstrations featuring live owls and falcons.
And the good news for fans attending the cinema after the early-morning event is held on Saturday, November 19 - the day after the film's nationwide opening - is that the Hogwarts-style surroundings will be kept in place for other screenings of the eagerly-awaited movie that day.
Movie-makers Warner Bros are set to unveil the fourth film in the saga on Sunday, when its world premiere is staged in London.
The Entertainment Company, an Edinburgh-based firm which specialises in themed events, corporate entertainment and novelty acts, has been hired for the Dominion cinema event, which is thought to be costing the Royal Bank of Scotland up to 20,000 to stage. The South Queensferry-based firm's clients include Historic Scotland, VisitScotland, BP, Scottish Widows, IBM and Motorola.
Managing director Bill Miller said: "We've done a few film premieres before, where we've organised special decoration of the cinema, like the recent Scottish premiere of Nanny McPhee, but certainly nothing on this scale.
"The idea is to turn the whole cinema into Hogwarts for the day and create a real atmosphere for the screening, which is obviously aimed at families.
"There will be lots of entertainment before the film starts with the falconry, the owls and the magicians and so on, and the rats and spiders will be there throughout the screening."
A spokesman for RBS said: "It's a private corporate hospitality event we're organising for some regular clients and their families.
"The company that is decorating the cinema will be leaving everything in place after the screening on the Saturday morning, so anyone going along to the later screenings will also see what is being brought in."
The Dominion, which has been graced by stars including Billy Connolly, Sir Sean Connery and Steve Martin over the years, is the second oldest surviving picture house in Edinburgh after the King's, now the Cameo, which started operating in 1914. It is also the only independently-run cinema in the Capital and one of just a handful left in Scotland.
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