Secret Cinema has been blowing the socks off Londoners for years with its unique immersive cinematic experiences.
Previous Secret Cinema spectacles have included Star Wars, Back to the Future and Moulin Rouge to name a few.
Attendees are armed with the knowledge of what film they will be watching – this year’s flick is Blade Runner – and some subtle clues as to what awaits them when they arrive at the ‘secret’ location.
Unlike most events that get plastered all over Instagram before you get to go, Secret Cinema’s no phone policy has put a stop to this and offers cinema-goers the literal element of surprise and a social media detox all in one.
The childlike joy of the experience is in this unique type of awe and the event owes success to its secretive nature so it’s no surprise that this is something they want to preserve.
When you buy a ticket for Secret Cinema you don’t only subscribe to an evening of immersive entertainment but a fully fledged spectacle that builds suspense from the moment you purchase.
You’re allocated a new identity (often based on the tier of ticket you buy, i’ll come to that later) and tasked with making the appropriate preparations for a suitable outfit before your date to visit dystopian LA arrives.
Side note: People take this VERY seriously and Secret Cinema even have their own shop dedicated to the most appropriate off-world fashions.
I won’t go into the specifics of what awaits inside, like I said, what makes this event incredible is the feeling of marvel when you see the incredible world of Ridley Scott’s 2019 when the original Blade Runner is set (lol, the 80s, what were they thinking?) come alive.
But if you do have a ticket, take their advice to bring an umbrella very seriously; nobody likes acid rain.
Another tip; fully commit to the character you have been given. I don’t mean put on a dodgy American accent and run around screaming ‘REPLICANT!’ (but by means, feel free). But knowing who you are will help you navigate the strange futuristic world and communicate with the actors dotted around.
(Well, I’m assuming they were actors although I wouldn’t be surprised if some were just very committed Blade Runner fans who lost themselves in the excitement. Easily done.)
Look for Rachel, stroll past the Tyrell Corporation and get your senses pummelled by Chinatown; and that’s all before the movie begins.
With all of that beforehand, it was easy to forget the reason we were there was to actually watch the film.
As with previous Secret Cinema events the on screen action was accompanied by actors playing out the scenes in real life to add an extra element of immersion to the proceedings.
Compared to the fun to be had running around ‘LA’ beforehand, it almost seemed a shame to sit down and watch the film despite that being the point of the whole evening.
Now to the eye-watering bit…tickets.
As with previous Secret Cinema events, these can be bought in three teirs; £49, £59 and £115.
The ticket you buy determines the character you will inevitably be as well as the areas of the world you can roam into as well as the pricer set getting free drinks and food included.
Unlike many pricey London events, at Secret Cinema, you can literally see where they’ve spent the money and no expense is spared. A ticket is comparatively priced to a West End show and you’re getting a whole night out included.
However, unlike a ticket to a show your spend doesn’t stop when you buy your ticket – be aware, you need to buy a costume, props, food and drink.
This is not an event you would want to do cheaply either. You’ll easily be sucked in to wanting a piece of everything and probably feeling like you haven’t spent enough out your outfit and it’s worth every penny to feel like you look the part.
Walking back out into the streets of East London post movie, everyones wigs, goggles and PVC jackets looked a little less shiny on the outside.
Real 2018 Earth is a lot more dull than Ridley Scott’s but thankfully with a lot less acid rain.
See ticket information and availability at the Secret Cinema website here.