Secret Cinema is a secret…ok not really anymore. So what exactly is it? Described as a growing community of all who love cinema, experience and the unknown…or in other words… it’s an interactive, mysterious movie happening.
Sign up online for whomever and whenever to email you and let you know that another Secret Cinema is about to happen. Only a vague description is provided so you’re essentially in the dark about what movie you’re purchasing a ticket for. The film and the location is kept hush hush until a few days before, but they do provide enough info on what props to bring and dress code – which is highly recommended or you won’t get the full experience. Expect the unexpected in music, food, actors who recreate the film as you stumble across the set as it’s not just a movie, it’s a cinematic experience.
For my first Secret Cinema, I was told to wear slippers, a robe, learn the lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ and to meet outside of Ladbroke Grove Tube Station by 7pm. I was met by two ‘attendants’ with clipboards and dressed in white coats who directed me to a derelict building otherwise known as the asylum where you were issued medical gowns, ushered inside to collect our ‘meds’ (a beer in a white prescription bag), then left to shuffle down the corridors amongst the other ‘residents’ and doctors. After about an hour of actors running around being ‘mental’ and an impromptu singing of Simon and Garfunkel, the movie began and surprise, surprise…it was ‘One flew over the Cuckoos Nest’.
My second Secret Cinema experience was completely different. Told to dress in 40s gear and to meet at Wapping Station, we were led to the location and treated to live bands, gin joints and lots of performance art. This entertainment before the main event was fantastic, unfortunately the screening of the secret classic movie ‘The Red Shoes’ about a tragic ballerina didn’t hit home with most of the audience leaving before the end. Good thing I’m a classic movie buff.