IT WAS an elaborate proposal worthy of a Hollywood film.
So it was fitting that Daniel Conway-Phillips brought romance to a Southampton cinema as he popped the question to partner Ali Butcher.
The couple, from Southampton, got engaged following a carefully executed ruse that made Ali believe he was going to watch a film.
In actual fact Daniel, 28, had planned the whole occasion, even getting staff at the Odeon cinema, in the Leisure World complex in West Quay Road, to play along.
Ali, 24, had turned up with his brother thinking he was going to see the Back to the Future trilogy and cinema staff made it convincing, putting the film title on the monitor above the door and film trailers on when Ali got inside.
In the darkened cinema, family and friends, who had come from Southampton and across the country to be there, were sat in front of him in the audience.
Daniel’s film played a montage of clips and pictures of friends and family to music, including Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer.
Towards the end of the film, it asked Ali to turn around and as the lights went up Daniel appeared and got down on one knee at the back of the cinema.
After Ali said yes, emotional family and friends erupted into applause.
Afterwards, Ali quipped: “So we’re not seeing Back to the Future then?”
Ali and Daniel, who live in Regents Park, have been together for two years and met through work at Skandia.
But it wasn’t until Ali left Skandia that he plucked up the courage to initiate a date with a text message.
They moved in together a year ago and Ali said if Daniel had not popped the question he would have himself.
“I wouldn’t have thought of anything better than this,” said Ali, who said he had thought Daniel had been editing a video for a friend.
“I honestly believed I was going to see a Back to the Future trilogy, I was genuinely excited about it.
“As soon as I saw the first ||image I was shocked and pretty much sussed it out.
“But I thought the whole room was full of strangers.
“It was emotional. I feel very overwhelmed and I couldn’t be happier.”
Daniel said: “I just wanted it to be big, but not too big – a big gesture, although it was over the top cheesiness.
“I’m just glad he didn’t say no – that would have been embarrassing.”
Sharon Longyear, senior cinema manager who helped Daniel organise the surprise, added: “It’s good to bring a bit of romance to the cinema.”