Mitchel Waite © 2022

Secret Cinema Presents…The Empire Strikes Back

Last night I had the pleasure of parting ways with £75 to see Secret Cinema's latest event, screening Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I've seen ticket prices increase from £35, to £55 and now £75........but this was worth every galactic credit.

If you are a Star Wars fan living in and around London, I can assure you that you will have multiple nerdgasms whilst attending this.

This is my 4th Secret Cinema now, and after last night I'm more in awe of the events that Fabien Riggall and his team have built and created. The Empire Strikes Back was more akin to when I first attended in 2011 (The Third Man); a controlled path into the world experience with the ability to go off and explore at your own leisure. After last year's in-depth media coverage of Back To The Future following the initial delays, the secret was ruined before we even got there. Even when I did walk up to the gates, I was just ushered in by Paul Blart. With the Hill Valley setting it was also much more open plan version of Secret Cinema, and I believe the first to actually be outdoors. As guests we weren't really thrown into a different world and taken on a journey. It seemed like the event scaled up massively in terms of tickets available per event, and in turn it took away a level of disbelief. It was Secret Cinema for the masses (the first, aside from Future Cinema, to announce the film to be screened beforehand). However, with The Empire Strikes Back, the team seem to have scaled back (albeit with more dates) and found its groove again.

I don't want to describe the journey through the course of the evening; partly in the spirit of Secret Cinema, and partly because I want to keep those memories for myself. It's one of the few events where I'm not looking at key moments through the screen of my iPhone or judging people by their ringtones. Back To The Future had more scene recreations during the screening which made me feel like an innocent kid again; but The Empire Strikes Back had more in the run-up to the screening. If they can find the resources and do both, then they'll strike gold.

All I can say is make sure you take a damn scarf....

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