What started as a quirky movie night has morphed into a multimedia live action extravaganza that mat just be the ultimate fan experience. We take a rebellious journey to a galaxy far far away for Secret Cinema The Empire Strikes Back
Although not really part of the site’s remit we were given a chance to check out the unique experience that is Secret Cinema The Empire Strikes Back and so wanted to share it with you our loyal readers.
Following in the foot steps (or should that be sneaker steps) of last year’s re-creation of Hill Valley for Back to the Future, this year’s Secret Cinema sees the team go out of this world as they tackle their most ambitious project yet – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – and it more than lives up to the hype and expectation that comes with such a beloved movie.
Initially it seems an odd choice because of its place in the trilogy, but the way the whole thing is presented it makes perfect sense – although you do leave wishing they would do the same for Return of the Jedi!
Reviewing the show is not easy as so much of the experience of Secret Cinema is about keeping things a secret so that those who come after you enjoy the whole thing unspoiled by reviews and social media chatter.
For example phones are placed in heat sealed bags at the start and there are no cameras, which may seem draconian, but ultimately stops the whole experience being ruined by a million and one selfies and live tweeters. If only every event could be like this!
Despite these strict rules the whole experience of Secret Cinema works so well because it is designed to be inclusive and to make attendees feel like they are part of a gang – the opposite to what they have been in a pre-‘geek chic’ world. From the minute you are sent a mysterious web link that gives you a role to play and character to portray you are part of this secret cabal and this is fostered and encouraged through out.
While at a Con you might feel self-conscious dressing up and geeking out, here it is essential. You actually feel as if you let everyone else down if you don’t join in and when you see the effort people go to it makes you wish you’d tried harder!
The degree to which you interact with the events and activities is up to you, however because you are among like-minded fans, it only adds to the experience if you do and doesn’t take away from it if you don’t, which strikes the perfect balance for both introverts and extroverts.
With all the extra interactive elements that happens before the film starts, perhaps the greatest thing you can say about Secret Cinema is that watching the film is one of the least exciting bits of the day. There are still a few surprises left when you do start watching, but the build up is so all encompassing that the actual film is a bit of an anti-climax.
At least you are among friends while you watch it, and there is no fear of talking, shouting out lines or whooping and cheering at all the high points. If anything it’s encouraged.
At £75 a ticket Secret Cinema isn’t cheap, but for the sheer scale of entertainment and spectacle you get for your money you can’t really complain too hard about value for money. Compare it to a West End show or day at a theme park and that’s the level of fun you’re looking at. If there is a better fan experience out there we’d love to know, as this whole event is sheer fanboy/fangirl perfection. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next year!
“The scale of Secret Cinema Empire Strikes Back is incredible, the attention to detail is unparalleled and everyone and everything you could possibly want to do and see is there and more. Just remember to look up!”
‘SECRET CINEMA Presents STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK runs now until 27th September 2015 www.secretcinema.org/tickets’