Have you heard of Secret Cinema? It’s not just a movie, it’s a whole movie experience complete with food and drink. After buying a ticket over the internet I was sent an email with a secret location to meet at and a dress code. The requirement was for 1950’s style clothes complete with head scarfs and sunglasses.
The cinema screen
MTV boyfriend and I met our friends Johanna, Nicole, Sully and Charlotte in a tunnel by Waterloo station. We were surrounded by a couple of hundred similarly dressed cinema goers along with women in full Muslim robes and some glamorous looking travel agents dragging lazily on their cigarettes. These were some of the actors who would help create the secret cinema experience and all offered clues as to the film we would eventually see.
Actors dressed as flight attendants mill around beforehand
Men men dressed in army uniforms checked our tickets. They barked instruction in French and shunted us towards the tunnels beneath the station. The light was dim and washing hung from the ceilings, we were in the Muslim quarter. There was a coffee shop, chess games to join in and of course a chicken shwarma with the chicken cooked in pomengranate juice (£5.50). Doused in a spicy sauce the shwarma packed quite a punch and reflected the general high standard of the food at Secret Cinema, always a pleasant surprise when there is a captive audience.
Wandering into the European quarter there was a “Milk bar” serving White Russian cocktails and milkshakes with 1950’s rock and roll playing in the background. Dancers twirled around us as we got our identification checked at an Air France office and tried out the creperie with its cheese and ham stuffed crepes (£5).
A man in a military uniform and sunglasses appeared on a small stage and started making a speech in French, only to be interrupted by the sound of an explosion. This was our cue to enter one of the screening rooms located throughout the tunnels. Settling in on plush velvet seats we tucked into freshly made gourmet popcorn from Love Da Pop (£2) and waited for the film to begin. There was a sweet white chocolate version however I stuck with the salt and black pepper.
The Muslim quarter
Film buffs may be able to guess what the cinema screening was, however the Secret Cinema motto is “tell no one”, so I won’t elaborate further.
Details: Tickets are available from Secret Cinema and the screening location (somewhere in London) changes depending on the film.
Damage: Pricey. £35 a ticket which includes the experience, cinema screening and one drink. Food is not included.