Grand Budapest Hotel

If you haven’t already, watch The Grand Budapest Hotel trailer. Imagine what it might be like if that came to life in a large warehouse-like building in the middle of London. That is more or less what Secrets Cinema’s latest event surrounding a screening of Wes Anderson’s new film is like.

If you haven’t heard of it before, Secret Cinema creates immersive theatrical evenings featuring films, music and installations in mystery locations. It’s all very cloak and dagger: you are told a meeting point only after you book, where you congregate with a mass of other eccentrically dressed people, all looking equally as confused. From there you are ushered by purple clad bell boys (and girls) to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. In keeping with the feel of the evening, you are required to hand over your phone on entry and then have two hours to explore the corridors and various enactments in the massive venue.

If you are a lover of all things vintage, this is definitely an evening for you. With everyone around you – actors and customers alike – sipping cocktails in their 1930s suits and fur you really do feel completely immersed in this world. However, because you have not seen the film before exploring this world, it’s slightly hard to place everything and to join up the dots of what it’s all about. From what I can gather, previous Secret Cinema events have featured films which are already notorious, which would mean you would understand more of what’s going on, and might find it all more exciting.

On the other hand, it is also very exciting to see a film when you already feel part of its world after wondering round inside it. When watching you’ll think ‘that’s why that person was dressed like that, or that’s why I was taken to such and such a place’. It’s certainly a different way to see a film but it is magical and great fun.

The film itself is immensely enjoyable. It feels slightly like a farce, but one with a very dry and very good sense of humour: you walk out and start seeing your life in Wes Anderson-esque centre-framed shots.

Did I enjoy  the evening? Very much. But would I be happy if I had paid £53.50 for my ticket? Probably not. Particularly as the food and drinks available, although very nice, are predictably pricey. That’s just stingy old me though.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is playing at a secret location until 30t March. For more information and tickets, see the Secret Cinema website.