Taking a trip to hyperspace to check out Blade Runner 2049? Now totally possible, thanks to Backyard Cinema’s Mission To Mars…
Immersive style cinema experiences in London are proving to be pretty popular right now, with lots of pop-ups from rooftop screenings and ‘hot tub cinema’ all the way to Secret Cinema’s grand spectacles. Somewhere in-between, Backyard Cinema have made a name for themselves through recent years with their themed seasons of movie events. The latest in the series, Mission To Mars, sees a space at the back of street food market Mercato Metropolitano turned into a space-themed movie theatre.
The showings at Backyard Cinema: Mission to Mars mix recent releases, such as Black Panther and The Greatest Showman, with classics like Space Jam and E.T. We decided to immerse ourselves into the whole sci-fi experience and check out Blade Runner 2049. Despite me unable to remember for the life of me what happens in the original…but hey, Ryan Gosling, right?
Coming in, we were taken aboard a ‘shuttle’ and shown an introductory video all about Backyard Cinema’s Space Travel programme. From the beginning, it’s a whole experience, rather than just a vaguely themed film showing, which I really liked.
We took our seats a few rows back. They’re first come first served in whatever section you’ve picked (Front, Back, VIP), so getting there early is advised – especially if you’re going in a group. As soon as I slipped my bum down into one of the beanbag chairs, I pretty much decided I never wanted to leave. Despite Conor not being a fan, I found them INSANELY comfortable and the perfect way to recline a bit while you’re watching a movie.
At the bar, a range of drinks are available, including a bucket of 4 Meantime lagers for £15, and your usual wines and spirits, plus a decent selection of Fentimann’s soft drinks. But if you want your drinks that little bit more intergalactic, you can opt for one of Backyard Cinema’s special Mission to Mars cocktails, including Martian Mai-Tais and Cosmos-politans. YES PUNNING. They’re served in pouches, for a proper astronaut’s drink kinda feel. The sweets are also a bit space-themed, although more through the packaging than the actual contents. And, of course, you can get a bag of popcorn.
Settling in with our drinks, when 8.30 rolled around, the spectacle began. Of course – the film didn’t start straight away. We needed to get to Mars first! After a short introductory video to Backyard Cinema Space Travel, it was time for take-off. On the big screen, we saw London stretched below us before launching into hyperspace, with the entertaining commentary from the ‘ship’s captain’. And once we’d reached Mars, the in-flight entertainment began…
The film itself wasn’t bad, albeit a bit long…but this isn’t a film review. The whole experience of Backyard Cinema’s Mission to Mars in general is a really fun way to spend an evening. The only slight annoyance I found is that around 10pm, the noise from a nearby bar could be heard during the quiet parts of the film. But otherwise, sound and visual quality was absolutely fine.
Tickets for Backyard Cinema’s Mission to Mars showings start at £17.50 – which is isn’t really that much more than a Vue or Odeon ticket these days. And for the experience and spectacle of the showing, it’s definitely worth it.
*We were given complimentary tickets in exchange for review