Friday August 24th 2012
8:36am – 2 hours, 9 minutes to go
Dark clouds hang ominously over South London as Friday 24th August 2012 comes into being, and with it, the release of Keith Lemon: The Film in cinemas across the United Kingdom. I awake, at first startled by the palpable sense of dread that seethes through my veins, until I look at the calendar, and realise the time has come.
9:18am – 1 hours, 27 minutes to go
Like Saw VII, Meet the Spartans and the Wicker Man remake before it, Keith Lemon: The Film has not been screened for critics ahead of its release, so by 9am Twitter is abuzz with anxious journalists attempting to locate London’s earliest public showings of the movie. I opt for the 10:30am screening at the Wandsworth Cineworld, and begin making mental preparations for the onslaught that’s sure to await me there.
10:24am – 21 minutes to go
I arrive at the unforgiving shopping complex that houses the cinema a little before the scheduled start time, eager to miss as many of the pre-film advertisements, trailers and associated Orange promos as possible. The building seems to loom overhead, warning me to turn around and go home rather than venture inside and witness that cruelty that lies within.
10:31am – 14 minutes to go
It occurs to me that it might be wise to line my stomach before consuming 85 minutes of Keith Lemon: The Film, so I stop off at Poundland on my way to the cinema in search of a Twix and some salt and vinegar crisps. I end up having to buy both in bulk, so I stash the remainders in my bag and journey ever onwards toward my inevitable reckoning.
10:36am – 9 minutes to go
The screens at the Cineworld Wandsworth are arranged along a lengthy corridor, with the one that houses Keith Lemon: The Film hidden away at the far end. I briefly consider abandoning my quest and instead dipping into the 10am showing of The Dark Knight Rises or waiting for the 10:50am Step Up 4: Miami Heat 3D, but no… I’ve come this far, I must go on. Inside, I find that the auditorium is built to hold somewhere in the region of 500 cinemagoers, though only one equally anxious-looking man has elected to join me in this morning’s ordeal.
10:45am – Keith Lemon: The Film
After the welcome delay of trailers for The Sweeney and That’s My Boy, the lights are dimmed and the time is upon us. I chance a fleeting look at my fellow detainee as the BBFC certification card comes up, and he returns my gaze with an expression that seems to say, ‘whatever happens, at least we’ll have each other’. As the film starts, I begin to weep, gently, into my headrest.