NiteTalk: Future Cinema Puts the Spectacle Back in Theater-Going

After stunning London audiences with interactive productions of films like "The Watchmen" and "Blade Runner," the theatrical party promoters behind Future Cinema are launching in Brooklyn tonight with a screening of Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 classic, "Blow Up."

We caught up with New York chapter producer Katie Metcalfe to get the down low on Future Cinema and it's aim to put the spectacle back in theater-going.

How long has Secret and Future Cinema been going on in London? What has the response been? Future Cinema has been running in London since 2005, and Secret Cinema launched in 2007 with Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park," screened under a rail bridge in London. The events have gone from being more intimate gatherings to sell-out, don't miss events. With Secret Cinema, we leak clues about what the film is going to be via Facebook and Twitter, and our audience responds by arriving dressed in the style of the film they suspect they are going to see. ... It's all about creating a 3d experience, which is a backlash against the soulless multiplex experience and puts the magic back into going to the movies again.

What is the difference between the events? With Future Cinema we'll let you know what film you'll be seeing in advance. We have produced UK preview screenings for films such as "Watchmen" and Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla" in this way. With Secret Cinema, audiences arrive at mystery locations -- anything from warehouses and theatres to city parks and farms and the identity of the film remains a secret until the moment the credits roll. Every individual event is completely different from the next. We build an entire experience and recreate the environment of the film so one environment might be a 1940's dancehall whereas another is a punk scrapyard and then another is an outdoor fairground.

How long has New York been on your radar? We've always been talking about coming to New York, and then the opportunity presented itself so we jumped on it. I think Secret Cinema is particularly interesting for a New York audience as people in the city seem to respond well to things than are open to anyone, but you just need to be in the know to find out about them -- such as the recent speakeasy trend.

For the launch, why did you guys go with "Blow Up" instead of a quintessential New York film like, say, "Saturday Night Fever?" One of the main reasons for choosing "Blow Up" was that it is simply one of our favorite films, also that we found a venue that was perfect for it. Many of our London events have involved recreating the world of New York in London using cop cars, yellow taxis and actors with American accents ("Ghostbusters," "Watchmen," "The Warriors") so it felt right that our launch event in New York should bring a bit of London spirit to New York. Although there is still plenty of scope for recreating the world of any number of quintessential New York films.

Have any famous faces RSVP'd? Care to divulge? Turn up and you'll find out! The response has been great over here, very positive -- a surprisingly large number of people we've spoken to have been aware of our events in London so there is definitely a buzz brewing.

Why Brooklyn instead of Manhattan? This decision was primarily venue-led. We felt the space was just right and Greenpoint / North Williamsburg really is a hub for film and photography industries. Also the roof of the venue affords us a beautiful skyline view.

How have you spread the word? Is there a lot of buzz? It's interesting, all of our promotion has been online for this event, and it really has the feel of a word-of-mouth event. People are talking about it and spreading information among their social groups, so it really does feel as though a genuine buzz is in the air around this pre-launch event and we're expecting a really great crowd.

We understand that Future Cinema aims to bring the spectacle back into theater going, but do you ever worry that things will get too nerdy and fanboyish? We always bring in a very broad audience and this is largely because the events are so multi-layered, you have a cinema screening, a theatrical performance and a live gig so people come for different parts of the show, which keeps things fresh and exciting.

Any advice on what to wear? We want Mod boys and Mary Quant girls -- tight jeans, thin ties, shift dresses, miniskirts, big hair and false eyelashes.

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