Secret Cinema: experience The Grand Budapest Hotel in London
Secret Cinema have truly outdone themselves with a phenomenal event to celebrate the release of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. In a secret Farringdon location, The Grand Budapest was recreated in what seemed to be a creaky warehouse, transforming it into a charming old world masterpiece swathed in pastel pink and champagne.
The beauty of Secret Cinema is the certain ability of the actors to immerse you entirely in the world of the film. Anyone squeamish about role play had their doubts shoved aside as they were ushered to the wine cellar for tastings and serenaded by pianists and violinists. A charming German alpine climber assisted us in scaling the mountain and a punch up in the museum set the scene for the film still to come. Every detail was attended to, down to menus and guest cards, hotel staff and secretive guests.
Patrons could enjoy the attentions of the crippled shoe shiner, wildly entertaining and endearing, or peek into private rooms marked “do not disturb”. Costumes were 1930s vintage and the setting so real that guests wandered around open-mouthed. Interviewing for a maid position in the hotel, sitting down to a black-tie dinner and laying flowers upon a coffin were bizarre but touching events that all made sense in the course of the film. This was an adventure into a world “vanished long before [you] entered it”, replicating exactly the incredible power of Anderson’s film to transport.
Whimsically atmospheric and almost magical, an experience that set the mood for a film that matched its perfection. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a journey of laughter and tears, of nostalgia and history that Secret Cinema captured and kaleidoscoped into a wonderful night, darling.
Photos: Hanson Leatherby, Laura Little, Ugne Henriko
For further information and future events visit the Secret Cinema website here.