Secret Cinema: Staging Movie Events of Classics

The U.K. company Future Cinema will to export its Secret Cinema venture, a series of events that combine live performances, involving audience participation, with the screening of a classic movie,  to New York and a number of major European cities. The company is also in talks with the Hollywood studios to stage similar bespoke events for new theatrical releases.

At the annual conference in Lyon, France of Europa Distribution, which reps 125 independent European distributors, Future Cinema topper Fabien Rigall said he would launch Secret Cinema in New York early next year, and operations would then be set up in Paris, Berlin, Moscow and, potentially, Athens.  He said the events would be co-ordinated and share creative direction, but would be adjusted to suit local tastes.

Third Man Event

A recent Secret Cinema event in London centered on a screening of Carol Reed’s “The Third Man” at a disused factory. Inside the venue various sets from the film had been recreated, populated by actors posing as characters from the film, who re-enacted scenes with the participation of the audience. This was then followed by the screening of the film.  Ticket prices for such events are are £45, or $72.

The company has recently branched out into staging similar events around new releases, with one devoted to Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” earlier this year. Thirty of these special screening events took places over a month, attracting 25,000 admissions.

Rigall said he is in talks with the Hollywood studios to stage four to five events a year linked to new movie releases. Deals with independent distributors for new releases may follow, after the company staged an event linked to a screening of the documentary “The Imposter.”

The company is looking to set up partnerships with a number of traditional and non-traditional venues in London that could serve as locations for the company’s events, which could include those that combine music gigs, interactive and immersive live performances, and film screenings. A recent example of such an event was the screening of Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” in North London this year, which was accompanied by perfs by street dancers and hip-hop artists.

One of the key elements of his company’s activities is to build online communities around the events, he told delegates at the Europa Distribution confab, which runs from October 18 to 20.