Louismania returned to South Yorkshire for the local premiere of One Direction’s debut film as fans went crazy for photos with Louis Tomlinson and the band - even if they were cardboard cut outs, writes Graham Walker.
The real heart-throbs were almost 200 miles away at the London screening of their 3D documentary This Is Us.
But the red carpet was also rolled out at Cineworld Sheffield for hundreds of lucky fans - including Star winners - to see a simultaneous showing, following live coverage of the boys arriving in Leicester Square.
And when Doncaster superstar Louis and his bandmates finally popped up on the big screen last night, the deafening screams for them in Sheffield were also real.
Jumping out of their cinema seats to wave, blow kisses, sing and dance, to a chorus of 1D’s You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful - were devoted fans including Ellie Wagstaff, aged, 15 of Beighton, 14-year-olds Molly Barton, of Chapeltown, Phoebe Davis and Abbie Wragg, both of Wadsley Bridge.
Jess Tinkler, 15, of Royston, Barnsley, said: “We got to see things from the boys’ point of view and Louis looked amazing, as always.”
Pal Lucy Towers, also 15, of Royston, added: ”It was so emotional and funny. It means so much to see the boys, what we’ve done for them and they do for us.”
The 3D film, made by Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock, follows Louis, Harry, Zayn, Niall and Liam on the road during their rise to worldwide fame, with dazzling concert footage which proves they can all sing.
But it’s more than a music video, showing them as ordinary people, gifted extraordinary lives after appearing on The X factor. Beatles fans will be dismissive of comparisons, but here is a bunch of good looking, likeable lads, having a laugh and sending their teenage fans wild as they conquer the world. This Is Us is A Hard Day’s Night for today’s pop generation.
There’s nothing here to damage their clean cut image, It’s not edgy or critical, surprising from the director who is best known for his documentary about the effects of a McDonalds diet. But fans will eat it up. And they’ll be lovin’ it.
The band admit it’s difficult to watch parts of the film, which shows their tearful parents when they left home.
Louis said it was “tough” for their loved ones.
He said: “You know a lot of families anticipate that once you get to 18 you’ll go to university and mothers know that that’s the day, whereas for us it kind of just happened out of the blue and our mums just had to wave goodbye to us on The X Factor, so I think it was a lot for them to take in at first.”
He said one advantage of making the film was it helped them remember everything that had happened to them in the last few years.
Louis said: “Because so much is happening to us, you kind of just lose it all. It’s great just to sit back and watch it back and remember and relive those moments.”
Spurlock said fans would enjoy seeing how “normal” the band are. He said: “There is no air of superiority, there is no air of success that permeates this movie.
“You see five guys who are the same five guys they were three years ago.”
Band joker Louis, in one of the film’s trailers, jokes how he hopes the film will help them to be remembered.
He said: “You know what. It would be just amazing to be remembered, like even as a mum, telling her daughter....the boyband of my time, One Direction, they just had fun - thery were just normal guys...but terrible, terrible dancers.”
Thousands of screaming fans, some of whom had camped out overnight, greeted the award-winning group as they arrived at the Empire cinema in London’s Leicester Square.
“This is unreal,” said Harry.
Niall added: “This is amazing. We’re really excited to be here. We can’t believe we are here. This is just unbelievable. The last few years have been amazing. This is what we’ve been dreaming of.”
Harry said the “intimate all-access” film is a love letter to their fans, known as Directioners.
“We made this for the fans. We just want to say a massive thank you to them,” he said.
X Factor alumni such as Little Mix, JLS, Diana Vickers and Amelia Lily were joined by the show’s host Dermot O’Leary and Cowell’s right-hand woman Sinitta at the premiere, which was streamed live in other countries.
Ellie Wagstaffe, 15, of Beighton, Sheffield, said: “The film was brilliant. It told us everything we wanted to know about the band - what they are really like and what they do in their spare time.
Molly Barton, 14, of Chapeltown, said: “One Direction are the best band ever and we found out all about them. It was also full of amazing concert footage of them on stage.
Phoebe Davis, 14. of Wadlsey Bridge, said: “It was the best film ever. It was funny and emotional. The songs are fantastic and you come out of the cinema feeling good. I want to see it again.”
Abbie Wragg, 14, also Wadsley Bridge, added: “If you’re a One Direction fan you’ve got to see this film. I liked how it told you all about their families and showed them the band as real people.”
One Direction: This Is Us opens in cinemas on general release from Thursday, August 29.
* To book tickets to see the film at Cineworld Sheffield on general release, visit www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/sheffield, buy in person at Valley Centertainment, Broughton Lane, Sheffield, S9 2EP or call 0871 200 2000.