Secret Cinema: Dirty Dancing

It’s no secret that I love a quirky cinema event. I’ve done all-nighters, open air public screenings, even the odd premiere if I’m lucky. Last weekend I went to the ultimate in immersive cinema.

Held in Hackney Downs, Future Cinema’s most recent extravaganza was based around Dirty Dancing, one of my favourite films and a chick flick legend. We were invited to be ‘guests’ of Kellerman’s Holiday Resort, the very same resort Baby and her family visit in the film. A huge part of the Downs was transformed into a literal all-singing all-dancing vacation camp complete with everything, beginning with the resort’s staff welcoming us, offering to take our bags and showing us to our first dance lesson.




We roamed the resort and looked around the reception area which was kitsch beyond belief and even included a muzak style quartet to play to guests who were crowded around the absurdly busy bar. Elsewhere there were various activities to drop into including hula hooping, life drawing, dance classes and massages to keep everyone really feeling like they were at a bustling holiday camp.






Aside from the main screen, the big draw was the Staff Quarters. Covered up with sheets and wood, people were peeking inside and trying to get in, but it seemed that only certain people could get in. It’s there that real knowledge of the film came into play; we needed a watermelon! Luckily for me I’d painted my nails with watermelon nail art, but for my friend we went and bought a slice from the watermelon stand.



And that wasn’t the only food available. We had awesome mac n’ cheese and later on quite a lot of candy floss. Every little detail was attended to, even the drinks were all served in Kellerman’s cups.




When it got to the actual screening I thought it would just be the standard big screen affair. However, Future Cinema choreographed real dancers to recreate the scenes on screen right in front of us which was totally unexpected. The best part (apart from the iconic lift at the end, obviously) was when Baby carries the watermelon into the staff quarters and the real life set-up burst into a frenzy of dirty dancers – it was perfectly timed and enthralling.


I loved this event and depending on the film, I’d definitely go again. I’m praying for a Mean Girls event set in a school, how amazing would that be?!


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