All at once the spotlights go out; the crowd falls silent and as the screen flickers to life that iconic music starts to play. Cheers, screams and shouts go up from the audience as ‘Grease Is The Word’ starts to blare out of the speakers and even the most begrudging participants remember why they came.
Any devote London-based film fan will be familiar with Future Cinema and if not they’re about to squeal with excitement because this is a film experience like no other. A live events company Future Cinema specialises in creating living, breathing experiences of cinema for those of us who want more than to just sit in a darkened room and watch the latest blockbuster. After my initial introduction by a friend I was hooked and this is how I came to be stood in the middle of a field on a Sunday, dressed in a poodle skirt, screaming the lyrics to ‘Grease Lighting’ at the top of my voice along with about a thousand others.
Walking from the tube there was no need to ask for directions; all we did was follow all the other T-Birds and Pink Ladies looking like some weird Grease pride parade. Already the excitement was starting to mount as we exchange stories about where we got our Pink Ladies jackets from and how we’d managed to get our hair to stay in place. Turning the corner into a field we were greeted by Grease’s end of year carnival complete with Ferris wheel, bumper cars and candy floss and I was sure any minute everyone was going to burst into a round of ‘We Go Together’.
And that’s not all; you can go and get your hair done at Frenchy’s slumber party, hangout with the boys at the garage or just grab and burger and shake at Frosty’s Palace. There’s also a vintage clothing stall and plenty food carts with lots of different eating options if you’re not in the mood for diner food. We opted to grab a alcoholic milkshake from Frosty’s and just as we’re sitting down Danny and the rest of the T-birds get into a fight with a rival gang right in front of us before getting kicked out and blending back into the crowd.
None too soon it’s time to hit the National Bandstand for drinks and dancing. Decked out to look like Rydell High’s gym the National Bandstand pavilion is fully equipped with a well-staffed bar (although drink options are limited), professional 50s style dancers and a live band. Everything is so well done that it’s easy to get caught up in the Grease feeling and before long we’re shaking our stuff with the best of them while Vince Fontaine flashes his cheesy smile at us.
Finally the sky starts to darken and slowly but surely everyone makes their way over to the giant screen to lay down towels and get good seats while they wait patiently for the film to start. It’s not long before our very own Grease cast take to the stage to introduce the film in character (Principal McGee is brilliant!) and in no time at all the film that inspired the whole event is starting.
After much singing and dancing along Sandy and Danny fly off into the sky to a ridiculously enthusiastic round of applause from the audience, but before we start to make our way home there’s a little more fun to be had. Not ready to call it a night just yet we make our way back to the National Bandstand for a few more drinks and dancing, and as I shake my moves to Johnny B. Good I can’t help but think why would anyone see a movie any other way?
Scroll down to check out a video of Future Cinema Presents Grease and click here for more information about other Future Cinema events.