Secret Cinema

In London, there’s a company called Secret Cinema.

I wanted to write something more creative, but I wasn’t sure how to approach that without giving away the ‘secret’ of it all. And the best part about the secret is that it’s a memory that only those who were there will have.

It was a presentation for Moulin Rouge — a live cinema experience where you would travel back to 1899 Paris for a taste of the bohemian revolution intermingled with songs and so much more.

When you sign up, you have to wait a long while before you get your information: your meeting place, your character, your costume. I think we signed up in November or December for a show in April, and we didn’t get our information until the end of January.

You were given little bits of information at a time and sworn to secrecy. It was all very exciting. Although, most of the time I was wondering what I had got myself into — my character was described as a ‘social chameleon’ who mingled easily with everyone. The total opposite of who I actually am. If they thought they were going to get that out of me, I had said, then they were sorely mistaken.

It’s strange how much you change when time travel is involved. I didn’t feel shy or withdrawn at all while I was there, and joined in with everything that Harold told us to do.

It was an expensive outing:

  • 70 GBP for the ticket
  • 70 GBP for the train ride to London and back
  • approx. 30 GBP for food and drinks we had when there (we limited ourselves)
  • approx. 30 GBP for travel to and from everywhere we went
  • 35 GBP for our accommodation (each — we stayed at a lovely AirBnb)

Now adding all that up, I’ve had a heart attack. That’s about the current state of my bank account.

Because my roommate had bought the train tickets and I had paid for the house we stayed at, I had owed her about 35 GBP so I also paid for her food and drinks, so it hurt a lot more.

But I’d certainly do it again. I want to go back specifically to the Moulin Rouge event, although they host a wide range.

There’s something special about it being only in your memory as phones and cameras were not allowed. You could be whoever you wanted to be and there was no proof of it one way or the other.

It was crowded and smokey and hot, but everyone was there for their love of the film and played their parts perfectly.

People got drunk, spilled drinks, fell over, stepped on others, and pushed each other along, and not a mean word was said.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted. We ended up leaving after the main event and didn’t stay to party (because we’re old*).

It was only one night and then it was back home, 2 hours out of London, but it’s one of the best things I’ve done and I’d 100% do it again, even with another film.

If you have the opportunity, check it out. It’s a brilliant event that you won’t believe until you see.


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