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Secret Cinema Presents: Back To The Future review

If you want to achieve your dreams, you're going to have to risk rejection. Or, to put it another way, if you're an event cinema company attempting to put on your biggest screening celebrating one of the most loved movies of all time, you should probably expect some bumps in the road.

Actually, bumps in the road could be a pretty apt metaphor - health and safety concerns involving vehicles were one of several conspiracy theories put forth on social media as a reason for the event's delay, and certainly on our night there was a health and safety announcement to that effect.

We won't go into detail on all the ways Secret Cinema supposedly got it wrong in the lead-up to the delayed opening night - of all the perceived mistakes, we'd agree they could improve their social media communication skills, and they should've given waaaay more notice before those initial cancellations - and focus on the event itself.

Because, wow. Just wow.

We're definitely not going to spoil any of the wonderful surprises we experienced on the night, the shocks are what made it special.

But what we will say is that this is the most immersive experience Secret Cinema have put together since their much-celebrated Blade Runner event.

There, two performers dangled from a high wall during a key scene in the film. Here, there were a LOT more moments where performers reflected what was happening onscreen - often in perfect unison, often with all the skill of a Vegas acrobat.

But, woah, this is starting to get heavy. We can feel our promise not to spoil stuff fading like a Mickey Mouse t-shirt in a photograph. So we're going to shut up and close this with some tips.

1) Bring cash - the cash machine queues are insane, and there is stuff you'll want to buy.

2) The van only sells vegetarian food, if you want meat, head straight to the diner. Don't do what we did and queue without looking at the menu.

3) There is a bench, and if you manage to secure it, it's probably more comfortable than sitting on the grass, and the view of the screen is fine. It also has other advantages, but sssshhh, spoilers.

4) EXPLORE. There is so much to see, and in so much intense detail, you'll miss out if you don't spend at least an hour exploring every nook and cranny.

5) There are photographers dotted around the great sets, so don't worry about the fact you can't take your camera-phone in. Though pictures do cost £5.

Overall, we'd definitely recommend snapping up any of the remaining tickets. And if you were one of those desperately unlucky people to have had your night cancelled, please rearrange - it really is the experience you were hoping for.

Secret Cinema has a lot of detractors all too ready to stand-up with the megaphone of social media and bellow 'You're just too darn hip / badly organised / opposed to my view that cinema should be a silent, sacred space.'

But for those of us who love everything about these events, who find the emotion of the film is increased by seeing it played out live in front of us, bringing fresh life to a film we've seen more times than we can count, Secret Cinema's Back To The Future is the ultimate experience.

Let's hope the company learns from its mistakes, and the next event runs without a hitch. But whatever they end up doing, we can't wait for it. Because if Secret Cinema puts its mind to it, it can accomplish anything. Let's hope that next time, they don't need roads.

Buy tickets for Secret Cinema Presents Back To The Future here

Photos by Al Overdrive

Sam Ashurst is a London-based film maker, journalist, and podcast host. He's the director of Frankenstein's Creature, A Little More Flesh + A Little More Flesh 2, and co-hosts the Arrow Podcast. His words have appeared on HuffPost, MSN, The Independent, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, GamesRadar, and more.