New Beatles documentary set for cinema release in May

The Sgt. Pepper cover
The Sgt. Pepper cover

A new documentary about the Beatles will hit UK cinemas next month.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! Sgt Pepper & Beyond will appear at movie theatres on May 26.

It was directed by Alan G. Parker and produced by Reynold D’Silva and Alexa Morris and will feature rare archival footage which has been unseen since the 60s.

The film will also include interviews with original Beatles drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird and manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! Sgt Pepper & Beyond is set between August 1966 and August 1967 and explores why the band stopped touring during this period and how Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was conceived and then recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London.

Parker says: “We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed Sgt. Pepper to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors.

“The last days of touring, the execution of the album – and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.”

Following its cinema release, the documentary will launch digitally on June 1 – the album’s 50th anniversary – and on DVD and Blu-ray on July 3. A collector’s edition double-disc Blu-Ray and double-disc DVD with more than four hours of exclusive bonus material will also be out in July.

Last month, it was announced that the Fab Four’s home city of Liverpool will host a three-week arts festival titled Sgt Pepper At 50: Heading For Home to celebrate the band’s landmark album.

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Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.