ROMANTIC Antony Curran is a happy man after plotting a proposal in lights in the middle of Leeds.
Rather than getting down on one knee, the 33-year-old persuaded the Everyman Cinema at Trinity Leeds to replace billing for films above the door with a special message for his intended.
After inviting girlfriend Yara Ocana Calvo on a “date night”, she thought they might do a little shopping for an impending birthday and perhaps enjoy a coffee at Starbucks.
But, as she looked up as the couple used the escalator to the centre’s first floor, realisation dawned and she admits she was moved to tears - and an emotional, tear-stained “yes”.
“We weren’t planning to see a film that night but, as we both enjoy the movies, I usually look to see what films are on anyway,” said Yara.
“The first word I saw was ‘flamingo’ and, as that’s a pet name we use for each other, it caught my eye. I didn’t realise the whole message was just for me to begin with but, when I read it and it sank in, I think the first thing I did was burst into tears.
“I was so surprised, Anthony had to help me off the escalator - but then of course I said yes.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Yara admits she thought Anthony was behaving a little strangely just before the big surprise.
“I knew we needed to go to the toy shop to buy a gift for one of my friend’s children but he chose to go there by taking a long way around.
“Although it seemed odd, I just went with it - but it was just because he was checking the sign was ready.
“When we came up the escalator, they were just putting the last letter up so he timed it perfectly!”
Antony, who works at Huddersfield Golf Club near Fixby, and Yara, a data analyst working with Yorkshire Water in Bradford, met through the internet and Yara says she knew straight away he was the right man for her.
“He is passionate and romantic but takes care of me and treats me like a lady,” she said.
Antony said inspiration for his unusual proposal came from Yara’s study of films at university - and the fact the couple are regulars at Everyman made the choice of venue a “no-brainer”.
“We had spoken about the idea of marriage before but, obviously, I’m thrilled she said yes,” he said.
“We’re flying out to Spain next week so I can meet the rest of the family and talk about what happens next but we hope we can set a date for sometime next year.”
PLANNING to pop the question? Has Antony’s gesture raised the bar? Here’s a couple of other suggestions for would-be grooms.
1/ Ask a theatre if you can propose at the end of a show during the curtain call.
2/ Get your friends together wearing T-shirts with every letter of “Will You Marry Me?” Suggest a photo and hope they can arrange themselves in the right order.
3/ Send your partner on a treasure hunt around the house and garden. When she finds the last clue, it’s your proposal.