• James Hewlett

Stranger Things: Secret Cinema


This afternoon I went to the latest offering from Secret Cinema, this time the ‘movie’ of choice was Stranger Things. I’ve been aware of the Secret Cinema brand for a number of years but the only other one I’ve been to was back in 2016 for The Empire Strikes Back.

I absolutely adored that event and said that I would try to go to any future ones where the movie, or in this unique case, TV show was something I was a fan of. The offerings since then though, while looking cool and I’m sure were amazing events, were never of particular interest to me so this is the first chance I’ve had to go back.



I don’t want to talk about the actual event too much, part of the joy of a Secret Cinema is in the discovery and not knowing exactly what to expect. I did have a bit of an idea on the format and how it was likely to go though based on my previous experience. When you buy your ticket to one of these things you register yourself and are either assigned or help create the character you will be becoming for your time there. For this the theming was a Hawkins High School class reunion at the towns July Fourth celebrations. There was a few different ‘style’ choices you could make and that grouped you into an eighties high school stereotype and from there you had the freedom to do whatever you wanted costume wise.

I went with ‘punk’ as I figured I could pull off something pretty good without spending a lot of money or going too crazy.

I absolutely love that everyone in attendance puts in some effort. Sure the amount of effort varies but everyone I saw was doing something to try and fit the time frame. You don’t need to be a master at cosplay or even into dressing up (I’m generally not a costume guy) to put in a bit of effort and as I found last time, the more you put in and participate with things at Secret Cinema the more you’ll get out of it.

I showed off my costume in yesterdays post but I was so happy with how it turned out once Rae had finished putting some detailing on the jeans and generally helping weather it all a bit. The final touch was a belt I borrowed from Emma who was going to the event too.

Kat drove the four of us going up from Southampton, she had been Rae’s replacement when she couldn’t make it to the event, which was really nice for me not having to be the one driving for a change.

After walking through a few tube stations and getting some understandably confused looks we met up with Ed outside the event. We were two ‘punks’, two ‘new romantics’ and one ‘hip hopper.’ It was fucking great.



The whole place was decked out like the Startcourt Mall and July Fourth fair from the third season of the show, and like at previous events, they have actors playing characters from the show walking around, sometimes interacting with guests or pulling them aside for special tasks or events and sometimes doing pre-scripted scenes either from the show or for the slightly altered narrative unique to the event.

I won’t say any more as if you’re interested I hope I’ve done enough to inspire you to check it out for yourself. I believe it is running until February and I’d highly recommend it.


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©2017 by James Hewlett.