In case you hadn’t heard, the biggest, worst kept secret is out: Shawshank Redemption style! Lomography’s UK CitySlicker Marianne went inside Secret Cinema’s 19th production with a Minox ML (the LC-A’s grandaddy) to capture the experience.
Firstly, for those who don’t know what Secret Cinema is, it’s a live cinema experience hosted by Future Cinema. It started out as just being a secret movie projected in a secret location where hundreds would gather, but now it’s a full scale warehouse-coverting, improv-acting, fancy-dressing, mind-blowing experience!
Essentially, you buy a ticket for a mystery film, and they recreate scenes from the film that you partake in, before you all sit down with some popcorn and beers to enjoy the film.
The 19th production was a resounding success, as tens of thousands of people descended on Bethnal Green library to be sent to jail. The experience started with you getting sentenced by the judge and your lawyer tipping you off to buy a library card (for food and drinks). Then, you were frog marched out to a vintage style bus with blacked out windows where you took a short trip to Oak Hampton jail.
Upon your arrival you were heckled and cat called, only fitting for your “new fish” status. You were lined up and ordered to strip your civilian clothes and to pick up your prison uniform, you had to hide any contraband items on your person. Luckily I snuck my Minox camera into my uniform pockets, but my fellow inmate had her phone confiscated after being caught using it in the dining hall.
You then experienced classic prison life; a grumpy kitchen staff dolling out two baked beans per prisoner, medical and psychological examinations, downtime in the cells, and the encouragement of therapeutic activities and spiritual time in the chapel.
The experience culminated with the news that a prisoner had been shot, and another escaped, so the rest of us were herded into rooms to be counted/watch Shawshank Redemption.
Secret Cinema had really pushed the boat out, even down the last details of giving everyone a free beer when, in the movie, Andy gets free beers for his fellow inmates (there was a great cheer from us in the audience too). So if all of this sounds amazing to you, and you feel gutted that you missed out, you won’t feel disappointed for long! Due to its sell out success, Secret Cinema will be hosting a repeat of the Shawshank Redemption experience running from the 10th January to the 12th Febuary 2013. Get your tickets here and get yo’ ass to jail, new fish!