Casablanca, Future Cinema, The Troxy

This Valentines Day Future Cinema staged another hit event with the classic love story, Casablanca. As usual this exceptional company have thought of everything and the immersive cinema experience is as thrilling as ever.

Prior to one’s arrival in Casablanca, everyone has to register with the French Protectorate in Morocco. One is issued with an identity card and instructions regarding the journey to Casablanca. After inspecting and searching, guests are admitted to Rick Blaine’s Cafe Americain (the magnificently converted 1930s cinema, The Troxy in Limehouse).

In true Future Cinema style, the venue is reinvented to mimic the setting from the film. Round tables are arranged in a ‘cabaret formation’ with a stage showcasing the musical and dancing talent. The brilliant retro band, Benoît Viellefon & His Orchestra play through the familiar songs and the audience is encouraged to gather around Sam’s piano while he entertains.

Visitors can try their luck in the Café’s own Casino, and dance into the night with the Casablanca cast who seamlessly blend into the audience. While you enjoy the night the great love story of Rick and Ilsa is relived around you.

All one’s senses are aroused in Casablanca. Strong martini cocktails are on sale at a small side bar, simple but delicious. Moroccan delicacies are served at the Blue Parrot Café by Moro of Exmouth Market; dishes including chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, vegetable couscous with sweet onions, raisins and harissa, as well as sweet Moroccan pastries take the immersive cinema experience onto an olfactory level, recreating the smells and tastes of this Moroccan city.

After the fun and games, the film screen emerges from the ceiling for the great viewing. Fans of this motion picture will cry with fondness and newcomers will gasp in amazement. Casablanca is an immortal film and Future Cinema’s rendition is the best way to watch it.

Continues until 23 March, tickets available here.

Saturday Night Fever, Old Vic Tunnels

I completely adore John Travolta… I even have a faded old (probably fake) autograph bought from Ebay years ago, so an invitation to Saturday Night Fever showing in the Old Vic Tunnels was for me, unmissable. I have visited this uber-cool venue many times before, most memorably for a Secret Cinema experience. This Everyman Cinema and Old Vic Tunnels collaboration was not dissimilar: an immersive cinematic event fully engrossing and involving for the audience. The iconic disco film is projected on a big screen with a funky after party, disco dancers, authentic drink and food vendors and late night dancing. One is transported back to Brooklyn, 1977 – hot dog stands and vintage clothes and disco gear galore. The atmospheric space lends itself to makeovers and this was just as spectacular as always, a carefully conceived event with every detail in place. I was pleasantly surprised by the realistic and eccentric underground disco world. The staff even spoke with authentic accents!

We went straight through to the comfortable viewing area… an epic screening that in the dark open space seemed just like the drive-thrus in Grease the musical. Watching a classic film in such a setting changes your perception, I noticed parts of the narrative I previously neglected and generally felt the movie made much more of an impact on me. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, swaying to the Bee Gees and laughing at Travolta’s naughty innuendos. After the viewing, guests are invited through to the dancing lounge where a giant sparkling disco ball and flashing dance floor is there for everyone to enjoy. We weren’t quite brave enough to join the flare-afflicted movers and shakers but it was great fun to watch and sing along to the brilliant retro tunes.

Combining film with live music and a custom built set, this is a complete cinematic event like no other. It is the ideal evening out for adventurous film fans, and perfect for anyone who loves a bit of John Travolta!

Saturday Night Fever runs at Old Vic Tunnels, Station Approach Road, SE1 8SW

Wednesday 11th – Saturday 21st July 2012
Tickets £15-45

More information and book here.