Kermode, Mayo and Aaron Sorkin hit Phoenix Cinema

Famous faces broadcast from historic East FInchley cinema but Guillermo Del Toro stays away following “terror threat”

MORE famous faces came to North London’s Phoenix Cinema this afternoon as Aaron Sorkin, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo broadcast a special radio show from the famous picture house.

The three appeared at the East Finchley Cinema this afternoon for a special outside broadcast of Kermode – who is a patron of the site - and Mayo’s popular film show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

While film fans were treated to an interview and Q&A with Aaron Sorkin – who famously wrote The West Wing – about his new film The Social Network, one big name was missing from the bill.

Guillermo Del Toro, director of box office hits such as Pan’s Labyrinth, cancelled his appearance on the movie review show late in the day.

Kermode explained to the packed audience that Del Toro had in fact cancelled all his UK commitments following the US government’s announcement that Americans should take care in travelling to Europe following a number of alleged terrorist threats.

“This is a man who grew up in Mexico – his father was kidnapped,” quipped Kermode.

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Despite the setback an audience of largely local cinemagoers continued to enjoy the afternoon, helping with film reviews and taking part in a Q&A with Sorkin.

In an article in the Ham&High last week, Kermode explained why the Phoenix remained his favourite cinema and why he has even branded it his “church”.

“I grew up near the Phoenix, so it was my local cinema when I was a kid and I saw all the important movies of my life there,” said Kermode, who now lives in Southampton.

“We’ve done outside broadcasts before and they seem to be popular. We were looking for a venue and it happened that the Phoenix had reopened.

“It’s historic, it’s a lovely cinema and it’s about what our show is interested in, which is the diversity of movies and meeting people who go to see them. Around half our show is about audience participation.

“So for me it’s a coming home type thing and for the show it’s about meeting the listeners.”