Calling London’s Secret Cinema an immersive, live cinema event doesn’t quite do it justice, judging from the scale of their most recent production around the 1985 box office smash Back To The Future.With an estimated seventy thousand attendees over the course of a month, the secret remains squarely in the hands of the organizers, who give instructions on time, place and dress code, but not the film being screened, nor the scale of the event around it. Advised to the 1950s theme, participants (it’s hardly fair to call them audience) wandered into London’s Olympic Park to find a version of Hill Valley, the town in the film, complete with town hall, shops and café. They interacted with actors playing characters from the film and get into character themselves, guaranteeing that no two experiences were the same.
While their Back To The Future recreation was their largest yet—other productions have included The Shawshank Redemption, Lawrence Of Arabia (where real camels were involved), Alien screened in Berlin and more—Secret Cinema plan on taking their alternative cinema events around the globe with events in the USA planned, as well as Secret Music and Future Cinema offshoots. With their unusual strand, the organization—founded by Fabien Riggall—are putting the emphasis on realtime, in the moment, in the flesh happenings, even asking attendees to relinquish their phones for the duration, encouraging a different kind of role play for our increasingly digital lives.