Secret Cinema Presents Back to the Future
'Grab the Rope' a shabby man in dungarees shouted whilst I stood gawking outside Doc Brown's house in upper Hill Valley. So I did, I grabbed that rope and he dragged me and various other people dressed in 1950s clothing towards the Hill Valley Fair ready for an inevitable game of tug of war.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of Secret Cinema, (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!?) the company prides itself on not just screening films, but recreating them and bringing the audience right slam bam into the world of the film. In the case of Back to the Future, after arriving in what seemed to be East London we were quickly transported to 1950’s Hill Valley including all the houses of all the characters, Hill Valley High, Lou’s Cafe, a fun fair, all types of fun shops like record and comic book stores and of course the famous town square. Both the incredible scale of the event and the attention to detail left me completely flabbergasted.
So yes, I grabbed that dungaree’d scoundrels rope in real life and also metaphorically, and that has to be the best way of enjoying events like this. Just embrace the mischief. There is so much to explore, it can be be a little overwhelming at first, but the best thing is to just jump in and enjoy it.
It is hard to explain the experience without pictures, so instead I will paint you a few pictures of things I saw:
- Before entering, we saw a variety of BTTF characters saunter past us in the queue. We hadn’t been in line five minutes before the bloke in front had been called Butthead by Biff and a man a few meters behind had been taken aside by an american officer and ridiculed for keeping his fancy calculator (iPhone) in a pink sock. We hadn’t been admitted to Hill Valley yet and spirits were already higher than a fly delorian!
- Having read the Hill Valley newspaper cover to cover before my visit, I had seen that Doc Brown was looking for participants for his latest science experiment. We found the Doc in his house and I introduced myself as Patricia Norman, a Hill Valley High Student (my alias) and he congratulated me on my interest in Science. He then gathered a group of people together and we entered into a very dubious but very funny science experiment that involved rubbing shoulders with the person next to you to create static energy. It was great and I practically jumped up and wooped every time he shouted ‘Great Scott!’, which was a lot… a lot of ‘Great Scott!’
- The most exciting moments despite the build up, were still those in the film, the atmosphere sitting in the old town square was completely electric. The action came to life in so many ways, with the Delorian whizzing around the place being chased by Libyans, with dancers boogying around you during the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and of course the iconic scene with the Doc dramatically perched on top the clock tower. My favourite moment of all was the scene where Lorraine (Marty’s mum to be) is being attached by Biff in the car and George (Marty’s Dad to be) interrupts them and decides to finally stand up for himself and for his wife to be. As the tension built, the audience started chanting in unison ‘Go on George, go on Geroge!’ and I have to say it made George’s punch in the face to that big ol’ bully Biff all the more satisfying!
I know these snapshots of mischief probably haven’t done the experience justice, it was just so all encompassing and joyous, I for once felt almost lost for words - almost! All I can say is for all those who are tempted by future Secret Cinema productions, I say go for it - this is a company who know how to bring stories to life!
For more information about Secret Cinema, you will find their Secret Website here.