Secret Cinema: Back To The Future review

Back To The Future Secret Cinema


Secret Cinema is finally presenting its special Back To The Future event to the public. After a week of cancellations and many rants from disappointed fans, the doors to the recreated set of Hill Valley, California have finally opened, allowing fans from around the world to travel ‘back to the future’ to experience a day in the life of a Hill Valley citizen in 1955 and to view the classic 1985 film on the big screen. The big question on everyone’s minds is ‘was the one week cancellation worth it?’ The answer is a definite yes!

To start off, this event may have been hugely hyped up, but the hype is well-deserved. The event is truly fantastic and has to be seen to believed! The organisation is well-handled, the directions are easy to understand and Hill Valley itself looks amazing. Walking around this town, listening to classic 50s songs, it genuinely feels like you’ve been transported back in time. True, there are some buildings such as the John Lewis department store that are right in view that might spoil the effect a little, but if you can use your imagination to get past this, you should be fine.

There are a lot of special things about this event, and one of the best parts is the acting: all around the town, actors and actresses pop up in different locations, with every single actor giving it their all. Whether they’re trying to sell you something or just wanting to talk, they all give fantastic performances. Interaction is a key to enjoying the experience. I was given the identity of Robert Quinn, a student at Hill Valley High School, and I made sure to interact with anyone I met (I was called a ‘slacker’ by Mr Strickland on the Hill Valley School Bus). I also met Daisy Peabody and even got to take part in the Hill Valley Street Parade. The more participants interact with the world of Hill Valley, the more fun the event becomes.

The attention to detail is also stunning. It is clear that Secret Cinema did their research while preparing for the event. Exploring households such as the McFly residence and the house of Dr. Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown was very exciting! Everything was there, including the Doc’s mind-reading helmet, and it’s easy to spend a lot of time enjoying these sets.

But that’s not all: there is so much to do at this event! Fancy a good old fashioned ride? Then you can hop on the Hill Valley ferris wheel. If you get a bit peckish then why not visit the brilliantly designed set of Lou’s Cafe for a bite to eat and maybe, if you’re lucky, have a chat with the soon to be Mayor Goldie Wilson? And that’s just to name a few of the many activities on offer.

For me, one of the best parts was taking part in the Enchantment Under the Sea dance at Hill Valley High School. This was when the event really came to life. It felt like a classic 1955 dance party, with songs such as ‘Earth Angel’ being played by a live band and a huge room to show off your dance skills – once the dance begins, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Sadly however, nothing is perfect and there are one or two flaws. Firstly, the pricing is a tad too high, not just for the tickets but also for the merchandise, food and services inside Hill Valley. For example, it costs £5 for a hotdog and £22 for a haircut at the barbers – this pricing at times can get annoying, and the fact that almost every actor in sight is trying to sell you something doesn’t help much either. Also, the daily attendance figure of 3,500 people means that you’re likely to get stuck in some long queues, even if it’s just for one shop. Sadly, as the event begins at 5:15pm and the film screening starts at around 9:00pm, you may not have time to visit every single set in Hill Valley, since there are so many to explore.

But all these problems were easily forgiven once the screening started.  The 3,500 crowd coming together in front of the town hall to celebrate a film that everyone there loved was a truly amazing spectacle to behold! They mayor took to the stage to welcome us, as did a special guest, co-scriptwriter Bob Gale. After his thank you to Secret Cinema and the fans of Back To The Future, the crowd fell silent and the film began. Seeing Back to the Future with such a large group of fans was a unique experience: audiences members often spoke the lines along with the film, and it was wonderful to hear them cheering and singing. Another special touch was that certain scenes from the film were recreated in dramatic fashion by actors in and around the crowd. It was impressive how the actors managed to perfectly synchronise their performances with the film. There were also a couple of other surprises involving Doc Brown and the iconic DeLorean vehicle.

Overall, the Secret Cinema: Back To The Future event was a triumphant success. It’s a must for any Back To The Future enthusiast and any fan of film in general. The town of Hill Valley feels real, as do its people, sets and atmosphere. Congratulations, Secret Cinema for this fantastic show!

The remaining dates of this show that still have tickets available are the 21st and 28th August. Tickets can be booked on the Secret Cinema: Back To The Future website.

Sources: Secret Cinema Presents: Back To The Future Tickets

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