Maybe we have a lower threshold for filth than we realised, but when we heard that the UK’s Hot Tub Cinema was coming to Sydney our first reaction was to jump straight in. Yes, stewing in a bath of lukewarm, murky water with strangers sounded gross and likely to give us herpes, but we planned to share our Lay-Z-Spa with friends – we already have their cooties.
Sydney’s inaugural Hot Tub Cinema season launched with Anchorman and ran through cult favourites like Mean Girls and Die Hard before finishing off with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you missed out – or want to splash out again – the organisers tell us they will be returning for a Halloween season in October. Keen? Here are our hot tips for next season:
BYO rubber ducky
BYO all tub-themed accessories and swimwear. Simply turning up in your onesie might seem chic, but looking chic is not why you bought tickets to soak in human soup, is it? The best dressed at the Courtyard Restaurant for Ferris Bueller was a glimmering mermaid. Thankfully the organisers hand out water pistols and sailor hats for the underdressed.
Get your water fights in early
Speaking of water pistols, see if you can sneak in a Water Blaster ($4, Kmart) as you’ll need that ten-metre shooting range to squirt the mermen in the front row. Get in quick as the water play wears off after a while. (We were politely asked to stop shooting at people outside of our own tubs. Thems the rules. Do what you gotta do.)
Order white wine/spirits to your tub
You get a mulled wine with your ticket price, which is nice. But once you’re submerged in bubbles take advantage of the tub service for food and drinks. Stick to the clearer liquids if you want to remain friends with your fellow hot tubbers. We spilled just a teeny tiny amount of pinot noir in the water and it wasn’t easy to hide. We also witnessed a pepperoni slide from someone’s pizza.
Use the bubbles to cool you down
Those Lay-Z-Spas are temperamental, which is being kind. One major buzzkill was learning that turning the bubbles on would risk losing precious heat at a wintery screening. Come October, you may want to use that tip to your advantage. And let’s be honest, a hot tub without bubbles is just a clear bath – it’s not the most flattering way to socialise.
Use your wrinkled digits to commit crime
It’s a fun game to play with your friends: who is most dehydrated after watching a feature-length film in rubber tub of hot water? The one who can no longer grip a plastic cup thanks to their pruned fingers! Make use of those masked fingerprints to rob a fluffy bathrobe from another hot tubber. Or, drink more water. Your choice.
Splash out on a tub for one
Truly hate sharing? You don’t need to squeeze into a spa for six and risk cold shoulders or leg cramp when you could shell out the full price ($300) for a tub of one’s own. Even better, order one from Target for $799 and make your own fun. Remember not to balance the laptop on the side of the tub for (hopefully) obvious reasons.
Pick a movie you actually like
After the initial splish-splash frivolity pre-film, the Hot Tub Cinema session we attended was surprisingly PG. Most people watched Ferris Bueller from beginning to end – I know, shocking. There was some dancing (during the parade scene) and lots of laughter, but it wasn’t as debaucherous or X-rated as we’d imagined. At least, not until the movie finished.
Sad you missed out? Hot Tub Cinema is travelling to Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne and more locations across Australia and New Zealand. The best way to find out about tickets is to hand over your email address on their website.
Tickets are $50 per person, or $300 for a tub that fits up to six people. Hot Tub Cinema will return to Sydney in October.