Leading Article: Charity begins at the blockbuster

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The Independent Online
AUDIENCES for Titanic are being approached in cinema foyers by

tin-shakers for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If only the liner had sunk nearer the coast - this seems to be message - doughty lifeboatmen would have rescued Leonardo DiCaprio as well as Kate Winslet. The charity is hoping for generosity by association.

Perhaps there is a trend in the making here. Other charities are sure to want to cash in. The drugs rehabilitation organisations did, it's true, miss a trick with Trainspotting but there are plenty of films currently on show which ought to get the givers going. The Royal Mail benevolent society surely ought to shaking outside The Postman; while the RSPCA would make a fortune outside cinemas showing Paws, though perhaps not The Lost World or Starship Troopers, where the beasts have a hard time. Whether by contrast the NSPCC would benefit from Home Alone 3 or The Butchers Boy remains to be seen.

Still, charities supporting maxillo-facial reconstruction ought to do good business with The Boxer. Societies for the support of retired gentlewomen would surely be generously treated by patrons of Mrs Brown while Nacro, the association for the care of offenders, is bound to do well outside theatres showing Prisoner of the Mountains. The Council for the Protection of Rural England should hurry along to showings of The Woodlanders. As for Relate, the marriage guidance organisation, it can take its pick - from The Ice Storm to The Full Monty.

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