Stan and Ollie: Dudley’s Showcase cinema hosts screening of Laurel and Hardy biopic filmed in the Black Country

You could hardly pick a more fitting cinema to preview the new film about the lives of Laurel and Hardy.

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly in Stan and Ollie
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly in Stan and Ollie

The comedy legends famously appeared at the Dudley Hippodrome and stayed at the Station Hotel – and key scenes for the biopic Stan and Ollie were filmed at the Black Country Museum.

Dudley’s Showcase cinema is within view of all three landmarks. And it was packed for a special showing of film that does not start screening officially until Friday.

WATCH the trailer for the film below:

Among the cinema-goers to watch the early screening was Jan Burbie, aged 54 from Kingswinford, who was an extra in the film.

She was excited to see the full production and also catch a glimpse of herself in action at the Black Country Living Museum.

Jan was part of a cast of extras who were filmed at the museum last year when security was tight.

She said: “I have always been a fan of Laurel and Hardy so I was very excited when I saw the advert about being an extra in the film. There was quite a few people that applied for it.

“When we were filming, there was a guy, I guess he would have been 60 or 70, that said he could remember sitting on his father’s shoulders and watching them arrive at the Station Hotel.

“So I think it is brilliant Stan & Ollie was filmed at the museum.

Stan Laurel, left, and Oliver Hardy are seen in this May 1945 file photo

“We did a few scenes – I have never done it before and didn’t quite know what to expect.

“We got there the first day and they told us no make-up. I got there and had to wait around for a little bit.

“And then they took us into make-up in the caravan. And they put lots of make-up on to make you look like you had no make-up. I asked for mascara but they said ‘no, ladies in the 1950s didn’t have mascara’.

“The big scene was in the chip shop. We were there for about an hour and a half. And there was a scene on the carousel, so we were going up and down and waving.

“Then there was just a few scenes where we were literally just in the background. I’m excited to see what happens in the film.”

Jan Burbie from Kingswinford

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy performed at Dudley Hippodrome at the height of their powers in Hollywood. During their visit they also stopped over at the iconic Station Hotel.

Ann Barnes, 78 from Coseley, who came to watch the preview with her husband Harold, 82, said the laughter that Laurel and Hardy provided was important.

“People turned up at cinemas just to see Laurel and Hardy,” she said. “They laughed at a time when there wasn’t much to laugh about.”

Laurel and Hardy

Harold added: “We are looking forward to the film, it is our youth after all. We are big fans of Laurel and Hardy and we have come to see what they have done with it. We lived at the pictures in those days and Laurel and Hardy was always on. This film has got us out to the cinema again.”

Another cinema-goer looking forward to the film was Alan Hyde, aged 51, from Tipton. One of his family-members appeared in Stan & Ollie.

He said: “I just wanted to see it because I grew up watching the films as a kid and read all the books. This film has got me out to the cinema today. My wife’s mom’s boyfriend is in the film.

“I think it is fitting the film was shot at the Black Country Living Museum, definitely. I know they were performing in this area back then. It is part of our history.”

WATCH: We speak to Stan & Ollie extra

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