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Review: Secret Cinema

Monday 25 June 2012

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Words Spindle

June 16th

You are in a line dressed in uniformed overalls, suddenly someone official looking hands you a large box and tells you it is your responsibility to get the important package on board, the contents of which are below your pay grade to know. Don’t panic, you haven’t been enlisted against your will, you are just at the latest offering from Secret Cinema and the fun is about to begin.

Secret Cinema, which launched in 2007, is the next level in cinema exhibition; it looks deeper inside the film to create a unique immersive experience, where one does not simply watch a film, one lives it with the audience becoming part of the narrative of the film’s world.

Secret Cinema takes a classic film and builds an event around it utilizing actors, live theatrical recreations from the film, iconic settings, food and drink. Previous productions have seen an old hospital used as the setting for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and a collection of warehouses behind the streets of East London transformed into post war Vienna for the classic film noir The Third Man.

This time the shadowy organization Brave New Ventures was created to mirror the world of the secret film. Ticket holders were invited to take part in various preparatory missions across the capital in the run up to the launch, which included hundreds of people wearing BNV t-shirts running past bemused Londoners.

There has been much speculation about what the film would be and once we entered the headquarters of Brave New Ventures, just north of Euston Station, I guessed straight away. It wouldn’t be giving the game away to say the excitement grew as we explored the interior of the ship before hyper-sleep. Every twist and turn through the maze of passageways led to new discoveries and with audience members and crew all dressed in the same overalls, you never knew who was who. There were also actual props from the film parked in the loading bay and a video introduction by the films director.

However amazing the experience of Secret Cinema was this time round though, I couldn’t help leaving feeling that they should really stick to classic films. However, it is not just about what that film will be but the whole event in itself and that was top class.

Is this the future of cinema?

Remember, Tell No One.

Words: Louise Marie Cooke