THE hit children’s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has gripped generations since its release over forty years ago.
And now four decades on local lovers of the hit movie starring Gene Wilder as the eccentric sweet factory boss are re-living its magic thanks to a Ballymoney shop.
Dozens of nostalgic fans have been swarming to The Candy Store on Church Street to get their hands on a Wonka Bar.
And just like in the film - the purchase of the chocolate bar brings with it the chance of unearthing a much-sought after golden ticket!
“They have been flying off the shelves since I got them in about a fortnight ago,” Mark Steen, proprietor of The Candy Store, told the Times.
“In fact they are so popular I’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand in recent days!
“I announced on Facebook that we were selling the Wonka bars and through that and people coming into the shop the feedback has been excellent.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released in 1971 and was a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
The film tells the story of Charlie Bucket who receives a golden ticket and visits Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory with four other children from around the world.
In 2005 Johnny Depp played the role of Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, bringing the story to a new audience.
The Candy Store is the only provider of the Wonka Bars in north Antrim and one of only a handful of shops across Northern Ireland selling the much-sought after chocolate.
Scores of lucky locals have already found special golden tickets and claimed their prizes at The Candy Store.
The tickets read: “Greetings to you lucky finder of this golden ticket from Mr Willy Wonka.”
Among the items up for grabs are sticks of rock, boxes of chocolate and differing sizes of bags and jars of sweets.
If you happen to find a golden ticket in the bar simply bring it to The Candy Store to claim your prize.
The bars are brought in from America and are priced at £1.99.
REPORT: CHRIS KILPATRICK