Over the last few years, Secret Cinema has transported film fanatics to fictitious worlds they might never have thought possible: Hill Valley, The Moulin Rouge, A galaxy far, far away (a long time ago), and most recently, Los Angeles (2019, apparently). With each production, the ways in which they immerse an audience becomes more impressive, and can only lead to trails of conversations leaving the venue asking, what on (or off) Earth can they do next? (…Or when/where can they go next, if you really want to be that guy).
We had a think about it, and here’s what Team TRASH would like to get dressed up for next year:
Beauty and the Beast
Canning Town, it’s a quiet warehouse.
Every gay, dressed up like a whore.
Canning Town, full of French-themed people.
Queuing up to say… “BONJOUR!”
You get the picture. Following last year’s live action reboot, Beauty and the Beast fever is at pandemic levels with no cure in sight. So what a time for the guys and gals at Secret Cinema to dust off their mantel clocks and set the the time back to 18th Century France! On entry you could be presented by a scenic French village. Shops selling baguettes, powdered wigs, and muskets (not the same shop, this isn’t Poundland). Tucked away, a library for the funny girl, that Belle, would be accessible, and for a few beers you could wind down at the pub where you could be treated to a live performance of “Gaston”. For an added bit of gothic je ne sais quoi, a leafy passage could lead the way to the West Wing of the Beast’s castle, so you can get a glimpse of his enchanted rose (not a euphemism). Ticket tiers could range from village peasant to city aristocrat, with a few people being assigned an enchanted item to rock up as. Just think of how imaginative people may have to be when they’re expecting to be a candelabra, but get assigned a MALM Ikea coffee table. All together it would create a scenic Disneyfied escape within the Big Smoke where you can skip down the cobbles, picnic basket underarm, without fear of someone shouting “faggot” at you from the window of their Vauxhall Corsa. So come on Secret Cinema – let us be your guest.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
If ever there was a time we need to be whisked away by an alien transvestite who has a genetically engineered muscle man secreted in his laboratory, then it’s now. This is exactly why Secret Cinema’s next rendezvous needs to be the high camp thrills of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It presents so many opportunities to immerse into a world or drag and dancing: The sets. The music. The whole world. Endless possibilities! It totally fits the ‘be who you want to be’ mantra of now; Imagine the outrageous costumes that you and your mates can spend endless days obsessing over as preparations gather pace, climaxing in a giddy night of tongue in cheek burlesque for all comers. Hundreds of Brads, Janets, Riff Raffs and Dr. Frank-N-Furters, all congregating to frolic & compare fishnets and feather boas. So come along secret cinema big wigs, put your money where your lip gloss is!
I know there’ll be naysayers who claim distaste because people died. But before you do that, you really should take it up with James Cameron for choosing two fictitious characters over 2200 real ones and making a blockbuster movie about it. This is about experiencing film. Also, it was over a hundred years ago. Now I’ve got that out of the way, I can’t believe this hasn’t already been done by the folks at Secret Cinema — I’m thinking different classes of tickets, a live string quartet, a live ceilidh band for some folk dancing, and sing-along hymn sheets to belt out ‘Save Those in Peril on the Sea’; not to mention some forceful handing out of lifejackets and a deck for spitting into water ‘like a man’ — so many quotable moments to relive! Cameron’s directing of this movie gave so many minor characters such rich detail that you could dress up as any of them and still be majorly recognised and feel part of the story; there are few other movies with so many defined extras to choose from. Plus if you like splashing out on costumes, you can go first class; if not, a swift browse through a charity shop will get you a steerage style outfit that’ll do the job nicely. So Secret Cinema, get on board and make my dream of standing at the bow of the ship with a hot guy a reality!
Secret Cinema should intrigue, surprise and lead an assault on the senses. What better way to do this in a new way than with Ridley Scott’s legendary Alien. This one’s not for the faint hearted, kids! A massive creepy and industrial spaceship full of corridors and dry ice… a surprise around every corner. It could be done so well and is very achievable in the space format established. Just picture the dressing up fun, comparing hundreds of attempts to effectively recreate the infamous chest busting moment. Not to mention the small army of men and women in boiler suits and curly wigs doing their best Sigourney Weaver. Probably best to stick to the source material on this one – a legendary film of its time, to be enjoyed away from the subsequent sequels, and recent attempts to return to the canon. Go… if you dare!
I know people will be #outraged: “OMG it’s a film with Kevin Spacey in it…” but him aside, choosing this film would allow people to dress up as one of the seven deadly sins, with different rooms themed around them:
Lust – A darkroom
Gluttony – An unlimited Harvester salad bar, but mainly focusing on the bread rolls – like, come on.
Pride – A room of self-love where you’d take endless selfies in a photo booth and pin them on the wall.
These are just a handful of examples, the rest are very NSFW and slightly grim.
Seven is one of the best thrillers of all time, directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), and Brad Pitt is shamefully drop dead gorgeous, so good luck to anyone attempting to dress up as him. …Basically, the only reason why I want this to happen is because there’s going to be a dark room…
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Secret Cinema = Good. Christmas films = Good. Secret Cinema doing a Christmas film = GOOD! I am one of those who questions when it’s acceptable to watch what the Americans call ‘holiday’ films throughout the year (from about late-January onwards), so to become immersed in one would be a dream. Having toyed with the ideas of It’s A Wonderful Life and the first two Home Alone films (the others should be ignored), The Grinch feels like the right choice. And with a new – unwanted – remake on its way, it’s the perfect time to recreate the Ron Howard/Jim Carey version which, at the time, featured the largest film set in history. Imagine hundreds of Whos in a snow-capped Who-ville, with topsy-turvy shops, clumsy machines and a HUGE Christmas tree in the middle. Of course, a slide could lead to The Grinch’s lair, and a (VR) sled could take Whos back to the village for the screening, where there’d be snow machines, hot chocolate served, and enough festive feeling to turn The Grinch himself.
Millennial’s are dumb-as-fook, according to a recent poll by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Two-thirds aren’t able to consider anything outside of their own eye-lids and have no idea what The Holocaust is. Pretty damn shocking considering they are the world’s future leaders. Meanwhile, Secret Cinema have cracked a code: all attendees must bag ’n’ seal their phone, thus enforcing everyone to look up and pay attention. That’s a perfect opportunity for SC to do something radical yet controversial: to educate whilst entertaining.
By creating an immersive event based upon Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List, all involved would gain a greater understanding of the atrocities than they would have, had they zombie-walked around a boring museum exhibition.
Visitors would be required to dress in prison-stripes and upon arrival be subjected to a ‘selection’ (males to the left, females to the right). Staff in Nazi soldier uniforms would aggressively move them about the painted-grey-scale-environments: The Warsaw Ghetto, Cattle train carriages, and finally, Auschwitz. Thin soup and stale bread will be handed out arbitrarily and attendees encouraged to bargain on the black market. Humiliated and miserable, everyone will be seated on splintered-wooden benches and scratchy straw for the screening of the 195 minute movie. No toilet breaks.
If it all sounds in poor taste, ask yourself this: is it any more or less crass than Spielberg re-creating Auschwitz for the film? Or having hundreds of supporting-artists pretend to be imprisoned Jews? The goal is the same – keep The Holocaust stories in the public consciousness so we never allow anything like that to happen again. Those damn millennials will be shook #woke. Job done.