If you’ve not heard of Future Shorts’ Secret Cinema screenings that take place throughout London, IndieWire has a great feature up on them and how they might serve to make viewing films an event again – something studios are desperate to have happen. The idea seems to be gaining even more traction thanks to the revelation that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus has made over a million bucks – just by selling tickets to people who wanted to attend a Secret Screening event.
Best thought of as part movie watching experience, part performance art, part Disney World attraction, Secret Screenings offer patrons the opportunity to see an unnamed film for anywhere between $30 to $60. Participants arrive at the event (often meeting a specific dress code), and are greeted by actors dressed like characters from the film about to be shown, food, beverages, and often elaborate recreations of props and locales from the movie.
It’s kind of like a large scale Rocky Horror screening – where the audience doesn’t just watch the film, but becomes an active participant, immersing themselves in the cinematic world. It all sounds kind of cool (we think it would really depend on the film being screened) and at the same time, kind of annoying.
On the one hand, our inner film geek reads about things like actors performing the last scene of Blade Runner with Deckard and Roy Batty lookalikes hanging off a rooftop and get pretty excited. On the other, this sounds more like a party than an actual screening. That’s great for folks who’ve already seen Blade Runner – but if you haven’t, all the extra curricular activities could be pretty distracting. Given that you never know in advance what movie you’re seeing, it’s all a bit of crapshoot.
While we doubt that these kinds of screenings will ever become a mainstream thing in America (probably the closest thing we have to them are the aforementioned Rocky Horror midnight screenings, Lebowski-fest and things like The Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow), we’re curious – would you go to a secret screening where you had to pony up $50 with no idea what you’d be watching? If not, what’s the most you would pay for the experience? What movie would you really want to see recreated in this fashion? I’ll get you started – I’d gladly pay $50 to see a screening of Jaws on a beach at night, or even better, on a boat (or where I could go on a boat ride and see real sharks). Check out a clip of what the Prometheus screening looked like and then join the discussion below.