Hot Tub Cinema… an experience like no other… but be warned!

13 Dec

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Never afraid of trying new ways to watch my favourite films, I spent last Monday night way out East in a warehouse tucked away from the centre of Shoreditch with the promise of a unique cinematic experience, and unique it was!

It was early December and the standard attire would most certainly be hats, scarves and maybe a pair of gloves, one would most certainly not consider a bikini, but on this Monday night, that was the only required item of clothing for this film experience, because it was Hot Tub Cinema night!

The premise of this idea is that film lovers come together to watch a surprise film in the sanctuary of a steaming hot, hot tub, and about a hundred other film fans. For a mere £28, or £225 for the entire hot tub, you can sit back, relax, enjoy table (tub) service as you watch the Christmas comedy that is Elf. A few months back, over Halloween, the film was Beetlejuice and in that instance you were on the rooftop terrace overlooking Victoria Park at the same time.

A novel idea it certainly is. Born seven years ago as a private venture, and the brain child of Asher Charman, Hot Tub Cinema is increasingly growing in popularity, its now populated each night by around 70-100 hot tub cinema goers. The experience isn’t just based within the hot tubs Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 17.38.38themselves, as you walk in, the “lobby” area in this pop up venue is littered with foam snow, twinkling lights and a few Christmas trees to make you really feel part of the festive season. Once you have collected your wristband on entry, you have the option of a well stocked bar, and stall offering a selection of cinema delights including hot dogs, popcorn and sweets.

A compere runs the night and welcomes seasoned hot tubbers, newbies, and singletons alike to this unforgettable experience. Once you’re in your tub you meet who you will be joined by for the evening. In my tub were a couple of eager two time hot tubbers who judging by previous experiences were here for anything but film watching! It was at this point that the Hot Tub Cinema experience takes its true form. Unfortunately, keen film fans may be less enthusiastic about this experience once they are there. Riding on the premise of a cinema experience, this Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 17.38.25event seems to be more of a singletons dating/cavorting Ibiza esq experience where any form of film watching comes secondary to drinking, flirting and well…we’ll leave it there.

The group of friends I was with, were excited to watch Elf, Will Ferrell in his prime as an oversized Elf in the quest to help santa and find his real family. But as the film started we were faced with poor sound quality and a number of other groups who preferred to chat, drink and do anything other than watch the film itself. Compared to other experiential film events such as Secret Cinema etc, you wont get anywhere near the same quality, and im sure that the experience is different on different nights varying from tame to wild Saturday night showings, but be sure of one thing, it will be unique and its up to you if you see it as a good or bad thing.

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