One of my earliest memories of movies was not of the films themselves, but the worlds. Very early on in my life, at a time when VHS copies of The Wizard of Oz joined Mary Poppins and Star Wars on heavy rotation, I had a dream that I was walking along the Yellow Brick Road, dodging tossed apples, ducking from flying monkeys and avoiding green-skinned Witches. It was a sign of things to come. Early trips to the cinema were too marked by a shifting in my understanding of the world I re-emerged into from the darkness of the multiplex. It was a huge part of what I loved then about the experience, and love still to this day.
The need to escape is a core component of why we love movies. Who among us hasn’t had that moment, that strange sense of possibility when the universe opens up ever so slightly, when we imagine ourselves stepping up into the silver screen? That impulse to move beyond the boundaries of everyday life and wander through the magical worlds our cinematic architectures create for us is a lifelong one. The Purple Rose of Cairo and Last Action Hero speak directly to that impulse, and remain firm favourites with me.
It is in this spirit that the good folks over at Betway have gone one further. They have taken some great movie destinations and calculated the cost of fulfilling this dream, down to the combined cost. If you watched Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and fancied a mingle with the bevy of disgustingly rich and many-limbed aristocrats of Canto Bight – you’re in luck! As long as you have upwards of £330,000 in your back pocket. Likewise if Jurassic Park had put you in mind for a bracing jaunt to Isla Nublar you only need 60 grand and a misguided sense of adventure.
You can see the full list, along with their hints and tips about what to expect when you check-in.
It’s a fun look at the actuality of realising a lifelong ambition, and though we’d look a little closer at some of the figures (only £205 insurance for Jurassic Park? No axe-sharpening surcharge at The Overlook Hotel?) it’s a neat hub of information. To be shown worlds beyond our imagination was a clarion call of histrionic 1950s movie advertisers. When visual effects came of age in the ’80s and beyond, countless previously impossible destinations became real before our eyes. But even from the early days of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (echoed in the recent retrofuture stylings of Tomorrowland) the other worlds of cinema have captured our sense of wonder in a unique way, and made us wonder what if we could step over for a day?
Johnny Depp once said he wanted to live in the Gothic village created for Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, and who among us hasn’t wished to step up and into the silver screen – to Oz, to Hogwarts, or even to a galaxy far, far away?