Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of my and many’s favourite movies, it perfectly features everything I love within a science fiction film. To say I was excited hearing the news that Secret Cinema was not only going to show the Final Cut but were actually going to recreate the over-populated dystopian futuristic city of Los Angeles in the year 2019. It all sent me into pure ecstatic buzz mode, making me as giddy as a drunken man. I just had to book, by hook or crook and get myself Off-World and immersed into this ultimate movie going experience.
Spoiler Alert – If you are booked to go before the last showing in July then please don’t read any further, just turn up and enjoy the wonders that will behold you. Trust me, you will be astonished.
Under strict orders not to change into Wolfman and embarrass her like the infamous events of 2012, the good lady Louise agreed to accompany me. Having to get the cheaper tickets we are assigned new identities and a dress code, the lowlife rank of Scavenger, hehe Louise not so impressed. Given new names, Louise is Delilah Fitzclarence and classed as a Dreamer, I’m Cyril Lanquet and a Drifter! Entering the city complex we are instantly thrown into the naughty pen, allocated recycling duties behind a fence as a seasoned scavenger tells us how we are persecuted and treated like shit through the system. Surrounded by LA cops we all shout and protest before we break free through the fence, rushing through security lines. Running down a corridor, through a secret back door, through dark smokey rooms and under tarpaulins to emerge in the heart of the city.
Dragged off to a side corner a scavenger spokesman stands upon his soapbox telling us how we are the downtrodden and persecuted citizens but us scavengers, we keep the city alive. It’s not long until he’s got us all rallied chanting “Fuck You!” to all the oppressors before getting chased out by more LA cops in full riot gear. This leads to meeting replicant Leon Kowalski who sets us off on a mission to steal some items from one of the stalls. This is where my skill set comes in perfectly, without too much fuss and a bit of dodgy looking from side to side, I grab a few motherboards and return them to Leon. Our reward is information, to use your photos to obtain secret things?
Film Tagline – A chilling, bold, mesmerizing, futuristic detective thriller.
All this adrenaline induced action happened within the first 30 minutes of getting in the complex. With our hearts beating and sweating like little piggy wiggies, we wandered off to explore the wonders of the world.
What they have created in there is truly astonishing, you really are in the future interspliced cultures of American and Hong Kong. Surrounded by noodle bars and dark little drinking holes. The steam and smoke of cooking fills the air as neon lights shine through the mist and atmosphere. The centre square constantly rains as techno music blasts through the steel walls and people spontaneously break out into dance in the acid rain covered by their transparent umbrellas. We stood up on the balcony in awe at the attention to detail.
Hannibal Chew waddles through in his massive fur coat, Gaff struts around with his walking stick, Rick Deckard shouts out holding his blaster, Roy Batty and Leon stand about menacing and they all act out scenes in front of you. Traders push through trolleys with bootleg booze, cyclists ride through the streets, people climb through the scaffolded world. The cops, security and blade runners bark out orders and market traders banter. Man I was in heaven!
There are so many hidden rooms, one being a VIP night club. I assume this room was for the more expensive paying guests but taking onboard Leon’s words about using photos to use as currency I thought it worth a try. Luckily I had printed off a few vintage pictures before hand, plucking up the courage, we tried our luck! It worked, inside we find a massive bar area, we were in Taffey’s Snake Pit Bar with full cabaret entertainment. It was incredible.
Seriously I could just keep going and going and I haven’t even got to the cinema experience yet! So I’ll jump to that now and the only little moan of the night, oh man the cheap tickets give the cheap seats! OH man how our bums, legs, knees and hips were crammed into seats only made for J.F. Sebastian’s toy men.
But that didn’t matter as the magnificent setting and the film started rolling and the incredible sound system kicked in. Lights shine through in univision with scenes, flashing blue lights of the cop cars, the red lights of the Tyrell pyramid, to beams of light from headlights to streetlamps. Yet the best is to come as the actors act out their parts whilst they are happening on the screen. Zhora and Pris act out their key scenes, whilst the bustling crowds are moving throughout the space beneath the cinema screen. It just adds more and more to the superb ambience of the watching experience, I may of seen it twenty plus times but theres was no way I was ever gonna see it like that. Mind blowingly perfect.
One of the best things, even though I so would of loved to have taken photos, that you are asked to bag up your phone. You can keep it on you but you know the LA cops are gonna bang you up if you took it out. With the addition of no phone, everyone is mesmerised in the now, no one is posing for photos, everyone is absorbed in the story. It’s refreshing and an truly unique feeling. Plus coming outside at the end of the night, London looked like Blade Runner world.
There was no doubt, you were actually there, you were really involved with the world of Blade Runner. Apart from the cheap tiny seats, you get what you put into the whole experience and I can’t imagine you would get more out of the expensive tickets apart from the ability to walk home without wincing in pain! If I lived in London I would be straight back in there. We both loved every second of this stunning, incredible immersive experience. I can die a happy man now, hehe
To paraphrase Roy Batty “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe”