Moviegoers in London pay up to £35 for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Live events company Future Cinema has been staging lavishly produced Secret Cinema screenings—complete with bands, DJs, food stalls, impressive set design and hundreds of actors—in and around London since 2007. Moviegoers pay up to £35 per ticket but don’t know where they’re headed or what they’re seeing until shortly before the event. Then they’re invited to come in costume: A recent screening of The Warriors asked attendees to dress as a member of their favorite gang from the ’70s classic, then reproduced the Coney Island boardwalk, complete with Ferris wheel.
The “secret” sauce is a key part of the appeal. Secret Cinema taps into our growing desire for chance, mystery and randomness as our worlds get more personalized and predictable—a trend we’re calling Reengineering Randomness. As a Spoonfed blogger noted of Secret Cinema: “I find it pretty impressive that in an age of social media and instant messaging where nothing stays underground for too long, they manage to maintain an air of mystery around the whole production.”
Secret Cinema is starting to expand, holding screenings in New York and Kabul in 2011. And its “secret” is extending beyond movies, with a similarly theatrical, Soviet-themed pop-up restaurant operating in London from December into January. Watch for a proliferation of experiences that similarly help inject more serendipity into our lives.