No spoilers! Why the Secret Cinema should be not-so-secret

Hi all, it’s been ages since I last blogged. Life’s been very busy! But I am very happy, now the Marketing Officer at Jessie May, the incredible children’s hospice at home charity. I am, of course, extremely biased, but I truly advocate you check them out here.

But the reason why I have put pen to paper again (that’s a lie, I am most definitely tapping away on a laptop keyboard with Netflix whirring on in the background) is because I had an amazing weekend and I want to chat (brag) about it.

I had my second Secret Cinema experience, and while it could never have lived up to the ridiculously world-class level of my first (the Moulin Rouge! themed life-changer), it was awesome.

If you haven’t heard of Secret Cinema, get exploring them ASAP. It basically offers the opportunity to become fully immersed in a specific film, in a fantastically quirky, and interactive way. Without giving too much away, you enter the world of your film – you can meet the characters, you can physically follow the plot, you ARE in fact an assigned character, with assigned attire (I strangely relished being a Moulin Rouge! Can-Can Dancer, don’t judge me!). And after all the fun (and drinks!) the film itself is screened and you get to enjoy it surrounded by like-minded fanatics and the joy of NO PHONES.

That’s undoubtedly one of my favourite things about Secret Cinema – it’s no phones allowed once you’re there! With everyone’s mobiles wrapped up, you can actually become absorbed in the breathtaking moments and avoid all distraction of glaring phone screens and irritating beep alerts.

So while I could rave and rave about the Moulin Rouge! Secret Cinema experience (probably the best night of my life thus far), this blog is actually about this weekend’s shenanigans. The film I experienced, with my boyfriend Harley, best friend Maddy and her boyfriend Ryan, was Romeo + Juliet – but more specifically, the 1996 American film version directed, co-produced, and co-written by the legend that is Baz Luhrmann (who also directed, co-produced, and co-wrote Moulin Rouge! I mean, he clearly deserves the legend title, hands down).

If you haven’t seen this film adaptation, it’s a must. I mean, Romeo is Leo Di’Cap – so really, what more is there to say?

Harley, me, Maddy and Ryan - from the Capulet House before our epic Secret Cinema experience

Harley, me, Maddy and Ryan – from the Capulet House before our epic Secret Cinema experience. Check our our tats right!

It’s a splendid choice for Secret Cinema – and while I wish I could elaborate why exactly, I shall resist, to avoid spluttering spoilers.

But it made me realise that Secret Cinema is so wicked, it really should be less secret. I urge film-lovers to get involved and sign up for the next installment. Here’s why:

  1. To repeat – NO PHONES. One of the biggest peeves at the cinema (surely) is random phone screens shining up from someone’s lap mid-film. The world of Secret Cinema bans phone use so you can actually whisk your mind away from your 21st century addictions and get beautifully lost in the moment.

2. This may be more aimed at girls – but you know when you’re on a night out, and you’re queuing for the toilet – the never-ending queue – and you start to chin-wag with a complete stranger? You exchange compliments on each other’s outfits, you gossip and suddenly you’re best friends for the night. (You’ll never see her again, but you’ll share memories!) Well – you can do this so easily at Secret Cinema, minus the bog, and potential toilet drama. Everyone’s so passionate and enthusiastic (you have to be, really, to pay the ticket price) so everyone’s in a great mood, with no phone distractions (I repeat again), and super willing to meet and greet and share Secret Cinema tips. You can join various Facebook groups beforehand, and you’ll meet some awesome people, and may even get offered some second-hand costumes, or at least handy ideas. Secret Cinema creates an adorable community which I love. I’m still part of the very active House Capulet Facebook group now, and I don’t want to leave!

3. You get the glorious excuse to shop for a wacky costume. So as mentioned, for Moulin Rouge! I was able to release my inner Can-Can Dancer. For Romeo + Juliet, I was a Capulet Cat, so donned my cat ears, leather skirt and leopard print to the colour theme of red and black (Montagues were blue).

This was me! This is the insane level of detail the organisers go into. I ADMIRE THIS GENIUS!

It’s basically compulsory to dress up for Secret Cinema and if you’re like me, you’ll relish finding the perfect combo of clothing and accessories. Harley was genuinely thrilled to get his Capulet ‘on and wear a Hawaiian shirt and fake sleeve – and massive fake chest tattoo (which looked surprisingly good, but that could be the cocktails talking).

4. You get to meet your favourite characters. With the Moulin Rouge! experience, I stood – quite stalker-ishly, about two inches away from Christian at one point, when he was mid-song. (Totally imagining he was singing to me, of course.) Before the film screening, I had a full on conversation with some Can Can Dancers – and, to avoid spoilers for Romeo + Juliet, let’s just say once again you can get pretty close to the characters you’ve dreamt of bumping into. O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo! Pretty damn close, that’s where he is.

5. You get a great excuse to visit London! I’m a Cornish girl now loving life in Bristol, but I do love London, on an extremely tourist level. I rarely venture up to the city so when Secret Cinema comes around I know an excellent weekend’s on the cards. For our wonderful Romeo + Juliet experience, we stayed at The Stay Club; “premium accommodation for students and young professionals”. It was an equally cute and funny experience for our group, with our room boasting 2 sets of bunk beds and a less-than-average sized wet room. I would genuinely recommend the place though – take a look here.

These are just a few reasons. There are plenty more, which may divulge Secret Cinema’s own secrets, so I shall stop now. But please – let’s share this secret, and let our friends and family, who need an epic experience, to keep an eye out on the Secret Cinema’s next listing. I promise they won’t be disappointed.

Bethany Wash

Storyteller. Digital marketer. Blogger. Social media enthusiast. Off the clock, an avid reader, cat mum, flautist and cocktail lover flitting between Bristol and Cornwall.

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