I went to Secret Cinema‘s June performance a couple of weeks back. Secret Cinema is a group that organize movie-going “events” about once a month for just about a week at a time. The concept is that the location of the film is kept secret until just before you go. While they drop hints about the film, you don’t know what it is until you get there. For this one, we were told there would be a travel theme and to show up in Canary Wharf at a certain time and with certain type of clothing on including goggles and umbrellas. It was quite a sight to see fellow travelers amongst the suits of Canary Wharf!
We were then whisked away to the location and, soon, it became apparent that the film was Blade Runner. They absolutely nailed it. From the policemen conducting random interviews to the warehouse that recreated various scenes and set from the movie to the actors acting some scenes out, we were blown away by the attention to detail and the overall experience. After a couple of hours of taking it all in, we were ushered into the screening of the film and recognized many things in the movie that we had just ‘seen’.
While tickets, at about 25 pounds a pop, were a bit more than double the cost of a normal ticket, it was great value for one of the coolest art/performance/experiences I’ve seen. It’s no surprise that they sold out all their dates and represented about the 11th largest grossing movie in the UK (albeit during a down season). Below is the official video.
It’s great to see innovation happening to something as mundane as going to a movie – clearly consumers are looking for and willing to pay for ‘experiences’. While Secret Cinema will be hard to scale, it is also impossible to substitute digitally, and I hope they keep up the good work.