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How to get the most out of Secret Cinema’s ‘Moulin Rouge!’

Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Ellie Walker-Arnott

‘Moulin Rouge!’ is the latest film to get the Secret Cinema treatment. An undisclosed corner of London has been transformed into 1890s Montmare, complete with the den of sin that is the notorious dance club.

It’s a strange and surreal place, where Londoners come to let loose and become somebody else (A bearded woman who only expresses herself through dance or a opera singer desperate for his big break) for a few hours. Expect outrageous costumes, deplorable behaviour and an immersive evening quite unlike anything else. 

Secret Cinema/Laura Little

If you’re a member of the Society of Love, here's everything you need to know to get the most out of your trip to the ’Moulin Rouge!’: 

How much will the night cost me? 

Let's be honest, with ticket prices starting at £49 and going up to £150, this is not a cheap night out. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of a costume and let’s not forget the price of drinks and any food you want to consume during the evening. 

Is it worth the money? 

It’s pricy – there’s no getting away from that. But Secret Cinema is much more than just a film screening. Think of it like an immersive theatre ticket and it feels better value. Your experience is also partly down to how much you put into it. To get the most out of the night, make sure you arrive as early as you can; see, try and do everything on offer; join in; act; don’t worry about looking silly and embrace your character as much as possible. 

What do the different ticket tiers mean? 

Your ticket tier – Children of the Underworld, Children of the Revolution or Aristocrats – has an affect on the type of character you are assigned. Opting to be a ‘Creature of the Underworld’ means you're not guaranteed a seat during the film screening. You might find you have more fun milling about and getting involved in the action, but if having to slum it slightly is going to affect your enjoyment it’s worth paying more. 

Do you need to go in character? 

Absolutely. After shelling out that much for your ticket you might not feel like parting with more pennies, but do. After registering, you’ll be given a character to dress up as and everyone goes full-out. It’s an impressive sight and you’ll want to be a part of it. Plus, you won’t be let in if you look like you haven’t put in enough effort. 

Secret Cinema/Laura Little

Do I need to do anything beforehand? 

Getting your costume sorted is the main thing, but there’s a whole Secret Cinema world you can immerse yourself in before your visit. You’ll be sent an email to access your character and when you log on online you’ll find a whole backstory and a task you can complete when you arrive. Plus, you’ll be able to read up on all the other characters in the ‘Moulin Rouge!’ world. 

What do I need to bring with me on the night? 

Your character will come with specific items that you should bring with you. You don’t need to stress out over it – your night won’t be ruined if you can’t find exactly the right thing – but if you can, go for it. The more you embrace your character, the more fun you’ll have. 

What should I do when I get there? 

Explore the different areas, chat to people and get involved. If there’s a commotion, go over and see what's happening. We don’t normally give this advice, but follow the crowd. At Secret Cinema, it’s normally heading somewhere interesting. We won’t give too much away but there are also plenty of opportunities to flex your vocal chords and show off some dance moves. 

What shouldn’t I do when I get there? 

Don’t take photos. Secret Cinema is a phones- and photography-free zone. If you bring one, it’ll be sealed in a pouch for the duration of the evening, so take the obligatory costume selfies beforehand. 

Secret Cinema/Laura Little

Is there a cloak room? 

Yes, and it’s free, so you can cover up your costume with a hefty coat if you’re feeling shy on the tube. 

Do you need to bring cash? 

Nope. You can buy cocktails, suitably Parisian snacks and even costume top-ups with credit or debit card. 

Where is it? 

Now that would be telling. But we can say it’s a short walk from a tube station in east London, so there’s no excuse not to wear those ridiculous shoes.

How late does it go on for? 

10.30pm Wednesdays, 11pm Thursdays and Sundays and late, late, late on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s worth noting that the evening isn’t over when the film ends, so hang around afterwards. There's more fun to be had...

Secret Cinema’s ‘Moulin Rouge!’ is has been extended. It will now run until June 11. Tickets are back on sale. 

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