Proposal amid the popcorn: couple get engaged at Stevenage’s Cineworld Multiplex

Tobie O'Dell and Ella Rowley

Tobie O'Dell and Ella Rowley - Credit: Archant

Most people expect to go to the pictures to see happy endings, but Ella Rowley never suspected she might find her own at Stevenage’s Cineworld multiplex.

Tobie O'Dell and Ella Rowley

Tobie O'Dell and Ella Rowley - Credit: Archant

On Thursday her boyfriend Tobie O’Dell went down on one knee in the middle of Screen 7 after a short film he made was played in the theatre.

Ella got the shock of her life when the lights went up and found the seats were filled with friends and family and Tobie, 22, proffering a diamond ring.

Ella, 19, landlady at The Globe in Codicote, said: “I was totally overwhelmed, and it took me a while to realise what was going on. I didn’t even realise until the end, when the lights went up, that the audience was made up of family and friends.

“I knew he was thinking of proposing in March and I had been annoyed before that he was not particularly romantic, so I definitely did not see this coming.”

Toby O'Dell asked Ella Rowley to marry him at Cineworld Stevenage on Thursday. She said yes.

Toby O'Dell asked Ella Rowley to marry him at Cineworld Stevenage on Thursday. She said yes. - Credit: Archant


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Tobie, who runs his own electrical business, and Ella live in Welwyn Garden City.

He started talks with the cinema in October to pull off the special surprise, and said he didn’t want to do anything traditional. He said: “Before we left she had been watching a TV show where they filmed their own proposal, and she said to me ‘Are we going to film our proposal?’ Luckily she was ill, so she was a bit dozy and didn’t guess what was going on. She is quite tough, so I think I did well to get some tears. It couldn’t have gone better.”

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The couple are thinking of getting married next summer.

Ella’s mum Zoe said: “It was amazing, it was absolutely brilliant. There was not a dry eye in the house. It was a remarkable thing for him to have pulled off.”

Toby O'Dell asked Ella Rowley outside screen seven.

Toby O'Dell asked Ella Rowley outside screen seven. - Credit: Archant

Cineworld manager Donna Stewart said: “He wanted to do something different, something that she would not expect.

“It was absolutely amazing.”

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