Well on Friday night I finally made it! It’s all thanks to Lenovo UK, I’ve been one of their Insiders for the last year. Getting sneak peeks at their new technology and basically being spoilt rotten with their amazing Yoga laptop, trips to Vegas, and now they’ve whisked me off for what has to be one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever had. I was just one big mass of excitement from being told to put my “calculator” away by a security guard dressed as a Police Officer while I was in the queue, right up to playing pinball in the 80s bar at midnight and posing for stolen camera phone photos on my way out.
Considering the Hi Techyness of the company that sent me, I had to go a little lo-tech for the pictures for this. Digital cameras and phones were strictly not allowed, though they were selling disposable cameras inside the grounds. So todays photos are bought to you by the technology of 1 hour film development and a scanner!
Secret Cinema are a total immersion cinema company, known for screening films with elaborate sets, actors and all sorts of amazingness and getting the audience involved with characters and dressing up. The film I went to see was Back to the Future, and the brief was that of 1950s Hill Valley. I was supposed to be Donna Castle, a High School student, which happily vibed with the fact that I am still mostly in flats because of my sprained ankle!
My dress and cardigan both came from a Charity Shop, the handbag is vintage, and the lace up brogues came from Stylist Pick.
The attention to detail in the venue pretty much left me speechless. The set up was Hill Valley Square, with shops around the outside selling actual goods, a post office where you could send messages to people and a few bars, one themed as the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, and the other as an 80s bar.
the seating area in the centre was nice squidgy fake grass, and around the edge ran a road, where vintage vehicles passed by and you had to make sure only crossed at the zebra crossings.
Note the fingers in the photos. It’s vintage photography at it’s finest. I seriously missed being able to review photos once I’d taken them.
I had a delicious burger, but that was one of the photos that came out completely black, remember when that used to happen? So, no food photos, and no photos of the inside of Doc Browns lab, but there is one of me in one of the houses dotted around the edge, once we remembered about using the flash.
I helped push a “broken down” car to the Texaco garage, got supremely embarrassed when an Actor in character was extremely concerned about what happened to my hair (I don’t do improv well) spent money I don’t really have on flags, t-shirts and rosettes and watched a box car race.
After some wanderings, we safely ensconced ourselves on a patch of grass, where helpful people occasionally strolled past selling more wine, and waited for the show to start. There were performers around the square early evening. The “Texatones” singing, speeches from the Mayor and other entertainments, and of course, wine.
My photos end in daylight. I attempted to take a photo of the screen displaying the movie projected onto the clock tower, but as I expected I would, failed miserably and came home with only blackness.
Scenes from the film were acted out in perfect synchronisation with what was going on the screen. I thought I might keel over and die from excitement when the appearance of a Delorean on screen corresponded with the actual appearance, including lights and smoke, of a real life Delorean. My absolute favourite bit was seeing “Marty” perform the stunt where his skateboard shoots under Biffs car, he runs across the top and lands back on it. A finale featuring pyrotechnics and a zip wire nearly finished me off.
I’ll tell you now, it wasn’t cheap. Lenovo were amazing as ever and covered not only my tickets, but also travel and a hotel for the night, but even so I spent an AWFUL lot of money on food, cameras, drinks and mementos, but I still think it was worth every penny.
Despite the initial problems with the opening times I wouldn’t hesitate to go again. I did miss my technology for the evening, and these photos will be a lasting reminder of the improvements we’ve experienced in event photography. I’ll never criticise myself for “only” having mobile phone photos again!
I’ll leave you with the last stolen camera phone photo, taken on the way out when it was too late to kick me out, and a huge thanks to Lenovo for this amazing experience!