Immersive cinema company Secret Cinema has pivoted to hosting Zoom experiences, after its plans to stage an experiential screening of Dirty Dancing were put on hold.

Secret Cinema’s Dirty Dancing was intended to open in July 2020, but is on hold due to the lockdown surrounding Covid-19. In the meantime, however, the company is hosting themed Zoom parties in order to raise money for good causes.

The first party was eighties themed, and was hosted by an actor and two DJs. It sold over 1,000 tickets at £5 each, raising funds for the Trussell Trust, a nationwide poverty charity and food bank network.

Since then, the company has forged a deal with Haagen-Dazs for an eight week run of virtual screening experiences dubbed ‘Secret Sofa’. This will be showing every Friday at 7:30pm, with character narratives and interactive elements inspired by the week’s film.

The first film will be Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. After signing up on the Secret Cinema website, attendees will receive email instructions on what to wear, dance routines to practice, prop making advice and more.

The company still plans to host Dirty Dancing, although it expects the dates will change.

Secret Cinema recently signed deals with Netflix and Disney to act as an experiential event partner for their most popular titles. The company recently finished hosting a themed screening of Netflix’ Stranger Things in London.

Max Alexander, Chief Executive of Secret Cinema, said in an interview with The Drum: “It was wonderful. We had 600 browsers open at any one-time. People were playing games, we had a dance-off and we encouraged people to dress up. It was amazing.

“What we’re trying to do is, firstly, not to overstate our own importance in people’s lives. What we’re doing is kind of silly right? It’s not serious, but it is important to add some kind of structure and appointment to people’s lives; come, dress up and have a dance. We’ll get better at it, embellish it and add more as we get up and running. But right now, it’s put a hat on, grab an ice-cream and watch a movie.”

Picture credit: Secret Cinema