Immersive cinema is constantly growing and evolving. When you mention it, the most likely image people think of normally includes something along the lines of Secret Cinema, who are masters at what they do, even though it’s pretty expensive at times. But there are plenty of alternatives to bring you closer to the magic of the movies.
Recently I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with the addition of a live choir and a church, something I have never seen done before. We arrived at the venue, grabbed a couple of drinks and, after a few photos, took our seats inside this church close to Marylebone station. For those of you who would like to know, it’s St. Mary’s Church Wyndham Place. It’s a really stunning venue and Backyard Cinemas have gone all out.
As you walk in, other than the stunning Montague shirts worn by all of the staff, the first thing you see is the beautiful set up, made to look like the final scene of the film, where (**SPOILER ALERT**) both Romeo and Juliet take their lives. If you didn’t know that, I have nothing to say to you. Anyway, after being blown away by the colours, the lights and the entire set up, downstairs they’ve got a couple of nice bars, serving all sorts of drinks, including draught Espresso Martini, who knew they could do that? They were wonderful, as was the beer and Prosecco.
We settled in for the film and whilst sitting there as if out of no where, the choir stood up and began to sing after the news report finished. It was a remarkable experience which they carried on thorough certain powerful parts of the movie. Smartly done as times they could pause the film and give you the feels and chills at once and at times keeping it running with the choir dominating the sound within the church. Both ways worked as both way didn’t draw too much attention away from the movie, it added dramatic tension and never took it away. Never too much and not too little, the perfect mix of live choir and movie. It was a remarkable and perfect evening.
The sound from the choir was astonishing, they all had truly wonderful voices. That added to the helpful staff, beautiful surroundings and the fact that someone proposed (she said yes. PHEW!), it’s an amazing thing to be a part of. If you ever have a chance to go to anything like this, please do. It really is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had whilst watching a film. Take a look here for future shows: http://www.backyardcinema.co.uk/
Keep. It. Reel.