Secret Cinema

Last Saturday was our wedding anniversary, so to celebrate I took Amy to London for Secret Cinema.

I wanted to share what we thought, but as the current Secret Cinema is still going, I’ll try and do it without giving away any specifics which would spoil it for people who haven’t been yet!

If you want a real review, reviews of previous Secret Cinemas are good for getting the idea

In a nutshell, Secret Cinema is going to watch a film, without knowing what film you’re going to watch or where you will be watching it. But that doesn’t really explain why it’s so much fun…

It all starts months before the actual film, when “Secret Cinema” starts sending messages, in character. Some are sent by email, some are tweeted, some are posted on facebook, but all are in the style and character that has something to do with the film you’re going to see. Many messages contain something that is a clue to what film will be, often a YouTube clip.

I was reasonably confident what the film was going to be, but I’m a film geek. Even if the clues aren’t enough for you to guess, they start to set the scene and tone for the event. They give you a bit of insight into where the film is set.

You’re told where to meet for the film. Last year, after arriving at the meeting point, everyone was transported by bus to the actual venue, so the meeting point doesn’t necessarily tell you where the film will be.

And you’re told what to wear. Because you don’t just turn up, watch the film, then leave. From when you arrive, you’re in character.

All the staff are in character, too. It’s like going to a theatre. But instead of sitting down and watching a play from start to end, you explore the venue, talking and interacting with some of the characters, and while you do, seeing snippets and aspects of the story.

What experience you have depends on where you happen to wander and when, but there were always bits of the story going on around us. More than once we ended up chasing after a character or two to see what would happen next.

There are places to buy food and drink in the venue. We didn’t have any food, but it looked appropriate to the period, too.

The venue itself was amazing. Secret Cinema aside, I bet it’s a cool venue, but they transformed it so that it was perfect for the period and country. It was great to wander around, in and out of different rooms, up and down stairs.

It all added up to an experience that captured the atmosphere of the film.

Which, at some point, you get to see. I hadn’t seen it before, although I knew of it. It’s a great film. And seeing it after hours of being immersed in bits of the back-story made it so much more powerful.

In short, I loved it. Like when we went to Dans Le Noir, it’s good to do something you’ve done loads of times (like going for a meal, or going to the cinema) but in a totally different way.

And I’m impressed that I’ve managed to write 500 words without being specific about any of it. Hurrah for my ability to be vague and generic 🙂

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