March 20, 2009 / 10:24 PM / 10 years ago

Spock backs Vulcan, Alta, premiere for new Star Trek

Actor Leonard Nimoy gestures during an interview for the 40th anniversary of the science-fiction television series "Star Trek" in Los Angeles August 9, 2006. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock, the highly logical first officer of the spaceship Enterprise in the 1960s TV series “Star Trek”, is backing a plea by a small Alberta town to host the premiere of the latest “Star Trek” film, a report said on Friday.

Vulcan, Alberta, a town of 2,000 perched on the edge of the province’s badlands, has based a lucrative “Star Trek” tourist trade on its name, which it shares with the fictional planet that the emotionless Spock called home in the television science fiction series.

With the latest movie in the long-running franchise set to hit theaters in May, the town launched an appeal to Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures unit to let it host the premiere, but has been turned down by the studio.

The town, 130 kilometers (81 miles) southeast of Calgary, began an Internet campaign that caught Nimoy’s attention, the Calgary Herald reported on Friday. The actor, who has never visited the town, called the paper to say he considered the Paramount’s decision “very sad”.

Nimoy, who has a role in the movie, also called tourism officials in Vulcan, saying he was disappointed that the town would not get to hold the premiere.

“I seriously thought it was a prank call,” said Dayna Dickens, Vulcan’s tourism coordinator. “He said he was disappointed we didn’t get it and mentioned he is going to see what he can do to help us out.”

Dickens said she contacted Nimoy’s agents to confirm it was actually the actor who called her.

Dickens said Paramount has offered to hold a special screening of the film, which is called simply “Star Trek”, in Calgary for Vulcan’s residents, but cannot stage the premiere in the town because it doesn’t have a movie theater.

Nimoy could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway

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