A very fortunate 160 people were the first in the country to see the exclusive advanced screening of ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ directed by Hettie Macdonald and starring Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton when it was shown at the Merlin Cinema in Kingsbridge on Wednesday April 26.

The audience was a mixture of invited guests and other local people.

There was no red carpet as that was reserved for the premiere the following evening in London.

This was a thank you to local people for providing one of the main locations and although the cast weren’t there, there were a couple of non-executive producers and distributers where invited.

Head of Operations Alex Jones said: “It’s not the first exclusive showing in recent times.

''Last year the Netflix production of Matilda the Musical was upscaled for the big screen and one of the producers lived in Salcombe.

Up until that point they had only seen it on laptops so a very select 20 people came to watch it here.’’

‘’The new film is in much better quality as it was shot on CinemaScope Panavision.

The Harold Fry film was shown under strictly controlled conditions with an electronic ‘key’ restricting the showing to the specific screen and projector. After the showing the key expired.

A seemingly unremarkable man in his 60s named Harold one day learns his old friend Queenie is dying. He embarks on a walk from Kingsbridge, only to keep going for 450 miles until he reaches Queenie's hospice at Berwick-upon-Tweed, much to the despair of his wife.

Alex said: ‘’Harold was a bit like a male version of Shirley Valentine without the romance. It was an epiphany and he and his wife Maureen were quite like Victor and Margaret Meldrew.

During the course of his journey he started getting famous and people were following him. It was a bittersweet story.

General Manager of the cinema Jacob Stone said: “We expect this to be the biggest film of the year at our Kingsbridge Cinema.”

Were you one of the 160 people at the showing on Wednesday or have you seen it since? What did you think of it?