Jump to content

I went to a Stranger Things: Secret Cinema event last night. Here's my verdict!

Recommended Posts

Just in case you are going, or know someone that is, don't read this. Don't spoil anything for yourself. 



"What is Secret Cinema?" I hear you ask. Well, it's an event that's run over a few months, I think only in London, where select movies or television shows are brought to life and allow you to take part in them and experience them in a different way. I've previously been to a Moulin Rouge secret cinema, where an old warehouse was turned into 1890's Paris, with shops, bars, actors and then a screening of the movie taking place later on (admittedly, I drank two bottles of Champagne and about 6 absinthe cocktails and my memory is...limited). 


For the Stranger Things event though, I had no idea what to expect (I wasn't sure whether they would show the first episode, the last, something else...). This was my thirtieth birthday present from my wife and so, I can give you not just the regular experience, but the V.I.P one. 


We came out of the underground to partly follow a variety of people dressed in their 80's finest, partly be directed by some events team members to a large white building, which was about a 10 minute walk from the station. The entire front facade had been remodelled to look like the Starcourt Mall (same sign, vintage cars out front). We queue jumped about 300 people and were taken into a holding area, to be told that it was Independence Day and that Mayor Kline had put on an event for all of Hawkins. After we dropped off our bags (to a very enthusiastic cloak room staff who hoped we had 'just a super, fourth of July weekend' we followed a Lady to a secondary area. 


She then told us that the entry badges we had been given were in fact press badges as we were there to help promote the weekend and find any scoops that the Hawkins News Network might be able to use. We then met the Editor of the newspaper who gave us a similar message, but said that we can come back to where we were (as it turns out, it was a Media Tent) to write up our stories. We were also told that in our plastic holder, we had some drinks and food vouchers to make use of. 


From there, we were told that we had a team building activity to take part in and so followed one of the staff members. As we waited, she walked away, then ran back a few minutes later to say there had been a change in plan and we had to go through the backstage area. We were taken down a long, dark tunnel (maybe 60m long) with some suitably creepy flickering lights and noises and then met Murray Bauman (as a common theme, he wasn't the actor, but his clothes, hair, beard and accent were very good) and he gave us a mission to follow during our time. We had to keep an eye out for the Silent Man, locate vodka posters and try to unravel the Russian conspiracy. 


After a few jokes by the guy, we were left to it. We (my wife and I) were quickly approached by of the attendee's to ask if we were reporters, as they had a story. We went to the tent, my Wife gave a filmed interview that was screened on all the television screens and we carried on. We then went to a cabin in the woods, where we were told to keep an eye out for someone lurking about by a police officer. It turned out, after a 5 minute wait that it was Hop's cabin and Maxine and El were having a party. We all went in, danced to Madonna and then went over with Max and El to a chair (well, the 70 of us in the cabin). We all sat down and they played the scene on a small television of when El eavesdrops on the boys. It was well done and quite funny (again, the actors looked like the characters) and at it's culmination, El accidentally taps into the upside down, causing the whole cabin to shake, which was a nice touch. 


We then played a few games in the fair area, watched some singing and parades and took part in an aerobics class (where at the last song, the whole area went completely dark, then the noise the Mind Flayers makes was played, all the lights were flashing, people screaming - very cool and fun). 


We then stumbled across a group of people hanging outside a Fortune Tellers tent, where the actual Fortune Teller herself stood on top of a box to announce they had found one of the missing children of Hawkins. 

We were then ushered towards the main stage area, where the Mayor was giving a speech. During this time, all of the located missing children stood on pillars and we were encouraged to yell things like "Truth not lies" etc. Then the Russian Hit Man appeared, killing one person with a gun and then having a fight with Hopper. Murray then appeared speaking about Truth and the lies of Mayor Kline and a big ticker-tape thing went off and confetti filled the air, however this changes gradually from being large to very small (almost like ash). We were then asked by the security to move towards the screen area. 


The room itself was probably 100m x 100m and was built in quite an interesting way. About 3 metres off the ground, around the whole circumference was a stage, with a sort of fine netting across the front of all the sides, then a series of large screen across the back wall (with the netting showing some general swirling projections and the back a night-sky pattern). 


This was then one of the best parts. They ran the main story of 11 and other main characters using a mixture of live actors, videos on the back wall and then projections across the netting (one great example being El trying to close the gateway in season one being played on one wall, with an actor playing El replicating the moves, then on the opposite wall the footage of the gateway closing, with a fire effect projected onto the netting along the sides, showing the movement of her 'power'. 


This lasted about 50 minutes or so, fully covering the series, showing the Demogorgon, the Mind Flayer, the change in Billy and the fight with him, Dustin and Suzie singing - all backed up with a mixture of television images, projected effects and occasionally utilising some hoists so the characters could move off of the ground. The whole performance took place across all areas of the stage (so you would need to keep turning and moving to see what was happening around you). 


All in all, it was an amazing experience and I could easily write three times as much writing about all the finer bits of detail that I saw. 


For those who live or are going to London, here's a link to the event's page https://tickets.secretcinema.org/stranger-things/



  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...