Transforming London’s East End venue Troxy into a mock-up of Humphrey Bogart’s iconic watering hole-cum-resistance outlet (complete with beautiful art-deco furnishings) made for a hugely memorable evening, and the genuine feeling of awe upon first entering the main ballroom was a testament to the wonderfully immersive atmosphere created.
Incorporating pivotal moments and characters from the film in some truly imaginative touches (we were asked upon entrance by a Bogey look-alike if we intended to conduct ourselves properly; Nazi officials and police officers gave chase to numerous crooks and chancers throughout the evening), a casino mock-up and Moroccan ‘restaurant’ were also amongst the fun additions.
However, it was the London-based French jazz musician Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra who truly added the requisite magic to proceedings, alongside a number of talented performers mimicking musical routines from the film (a certain solo piano player cropped up occasionally to deliver the film’s most endearing, and enduring, song).
During no point in the evening did it feel like the audience were being forced to make a huge leap of imagination to really engage in the activities (something which has marred similar events in the past) and the only minor complaint was that, having been swept up by such a heady experience, it was initially difficult to readjust and wind down while viewing the actual film itself. A dance floor full of drunken revellers, post-screening, boogying up a storm to the sounds of Glen Miller was really a rare and special sight to behold, and ended the evening on a perfect note.
Unsurprisingly, the event is now sold out for the rest of the run (it ends on the 3rd March) and if Future Cinema can maintain this level of quality and attention to details in all their future exploits, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Tickets are still available for Future Cinema screenings of The Shawshank Redemption.