‘Psst! Do you want to go to a secret cinema?’
This was the tantalising question that arrived with a ‘ping’ into my Inbox last November. I quickly tapped a resounding and enthusiastic ‘YES!’ and hit send, only later thinking to ask ‘what actually is a secret cinema?’ A few discreet enquiries revealed that it's the brainchild of a specialist event company who take great delight in creating a theatrical spectacle based around a cult classic film. Clues are sent in a series of mysterious email communications and half the fun is trying to guess what you're going to see.
We were given this dress code...
|A rogue-ish dress code|
…and were told to meet a man carrying balloons outside Barbican tube station. It was all incredibly exciting. We booked into the Powder Room in Soho for some vintage hairstyling, ready to play our part as 'Rogues'. Already some subterfuge was going on as my long hair was very cunningly disguised into a bob.
|A quick bite to eat at Leon in Soho|
|Checking ID at the entrance to the International Zone|
This feeling became more apparent as we entered the yard. Everywhere we looked was perfect – the money exchange swapping our sterling into Austrian schillings, the decorative bars in all their faded glory, the secretive gambling club upstairs, the spivs trying to barter watches and nylons. Every new arrival brought a book to leave behind – later to be swapped or given to charity - resulting in a heaped table filled with treasure.
|Posters tying the film with the era|
|The money exchange|
|A higgledy piggledy pile of books|
|Clever lighting helped set the mood for film noir|
|Me, no doubt transfixed by the wandering balloon seller|
|Lovely friend S|
|Lovely friend M, one of the bloggers behind To Happy Vegans|
The motif of the evening was the man in a trilby hat – he lurked in the shadows; he appeared in the smoke. Occasionally you’d look up and there he was...
|The man with the trilby hat|
Take a look at the short clip below to find out more...
Read M's write up at To Happy Vegans
Read more about Secret Cinema
Thanks to M for some of the pictures included on this blog post