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'It is is keeping us busy' - How Yesterday exposure is giving Gorleston the 'blue door' boost

PUBLISHED: 14:10 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 11 July 2019

Actor Hamesh Patel as Jack the singer in action during filming on Gorleston beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Actor Hamesh Patel as Jack the singer in action during filming on Gorleston beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A landmark seaside hotel which played itself in spectacular scenes at a key point in a new blockbuster movie is enjoying an uplift in bookings and global renown.

The queue at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of Danny Boyle's film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe queue at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of Danny Boyle's film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Pier Hotel in Gorleston was an engine-room hub for the new Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis feel-good flick Yesterday, which imagines a world without the Beatles and the consequences in love and life for plagiarist performer Jack, played by Himesh Patel.

And since the film's release, hotel owner Ian Scott said there had already been a response, the feedback being likened to the 'blue door' effect which made one of the locations in Notting Hill a place of pilgrimage for fans.

In Yesterday the hotel appears in multiple scenes, a camera sweeping across the sky capturing a 6,000 strong crowd of local extras, the riverside, and industrial Yarmouth beyond filling the silver screen.

Mr Scott said the hotel had received a string of enquiries as a result of the film which is being reported as a box office success and heavily promoted as this year's must-see summer film.

He said all the attention had been "absolutely fantastic" and a welcome by-product of their involvement.

6000 extras on Gorleston beach for filming by Danny Boyle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY6000 extras on Gorleston beach for filming by Danny Boyle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The flurry of interest included a week-long booking from a lady in Seattle who had never left the US before but had been so captivated by what she had seen on screen, resolved to visit.

"A lot of people have likened it to the blue door. We did not do it for anything like that, they approached us because they thought it would be a good location," Mr Scott added.

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He revealed initially the filmmakers had planned to change the name of the hotel to The Wheatsheaf and set it in a fictional town, but because they were so won over by Gorleston and its people, decided to keep things as they were.

On social media local people have reported seeing visitors taking selfies outside places that feature prominently in Yesterday including the seaside amusements and the Pavilion Theatre, which director Danny Boyle supports as a patron.

The Reedcutter at Cantley, another location seen in the film and chosen for its riverside location, is also enjoying a spike in interest thanks to its role.

Landlady Lyn Millbanks said the crew and stars of the film including Lily James spent a day at the pub.

She said a number of people, mainly from the local area, had visited specifically because they had seen it in the film and wanted to see it for themselves.

Being part of a movie set was "quite an experience" she said, although running a B&B and catering for guests had been quite a challenge with so much going on.

At Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre, general manager Luke Thompson said they were feeling a flutter of excitement but it was probably too soon to detect any major effect. In time he hoped more people would be drawn to the area because of Gorleston's casting.

And at the Palace Cinema in Gorleston High Street which hosted the star-studded East Anglian premiere, ticket sales are said to be brisk.

A spokesman said: "It is what is keeping us busy at the moment. We have Spiderman on but Yesterday seems to be the one getting all the customers in so it has been good for us."

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