You have to wonder about the future of cinema. With televisions becoming ever larger and cheaper, high definition content beginning to proliferate the home, the rise of on-demand video, 3D on the horizon and ever the shorter gaps between premieres and home viewing all don't help. But perhaps one venture has the right idea...
'Secret Cinema' is project we have been keeping our eyes on for a while now and it has definitely shown one route the cinema could take to ensure its survival. In an attempt to revolutionise the cinematic experience and make attending a film a genuine event once again, the organisation screens golden oldies, cult classics and new flicks with a funky twist.
As the name implies, the location of the event - and even the film itself - remain closely guarded secrets up until the day of the screening. So how does it all work? Surprising London site-specific locations from five-star hotel car parks to working city farms are commandeered to evoke the spirit of the secret movie. These have included a Christmas screening of Bugsy Malone, when people took to the streets of a mocked up Lower East Side, before taking part in a real life splurge fight and Alien, where guests were given boiler suits and invited into a futuristic warehouse where Ridley Scott introduced the film.
Yep, it's a little different. Past films include Paranoid Park, Funny Face, Anvil: Story of Anvil and The Warriors. And now there's a new event - location and film unknown as usual, but with a romance/Valentine's theme - happening on 27 and 28 February with matinee and evening shows. I experienced the Bugsy Malone screening and it truly was a remarkable night. You can find out more on the Secret Cinema site now (link below). Be warned, tickets usually go fast.
Ultimately there is a serious message to all this. The trick to relevancy is evolution and the key to cinema is to be an event, but home cinema is getting ever better at stripping that away. Could Secret Cinema be the answer? I think there are many answers, but yes - it definitely is one.