On Sunday afternoon I will travel into London with my daughter, arrive at a location I am not allowed to share with anybody, and will be greeted in a back street by one or more of a group of kids that walked straight out of the 1980s. We will then walk into a shopping mall that nobody knows about, and spend the next several hours in 1985, Hawkins, Indiana.
It’s called “Secret Cinema”, and we got the tickets for Christmas. Each year they stage a spectacular movie or TV themed experience, and invite people to share in the secret with them. In recent years they have re-created Casino Royale, Star Wars, and this summer they turn their focus to Dirty Dancing.
We are walking back in time to Hawkins, Indiana, in 1985 to join Eleven, Mike, Hopper, Lucas, Joyce, Steve, Jonathan, Dustin, and so many more larger than life characters to immerse ourselves in the world of “Stranger Things”. We will buy ice creams from Scoops Ahoy, play video games in coin-op arcades, and hang out at the Mall for several hours – keeping our eyes and ears open for the principal cast, who will mingle among the visitors, making conversation, and staying in character.
There’s more to the experience than meets the eye. We have been instructed to dress as we might have in 1985 in order to fit in, and to take a notebook. Mobile phones are banned. Photography is banned. There is a second story within the experience – one that you can uncover if you dare. I imagine – being the world of Stranger Things – it’s going to involve some sort of excursion into the Upside Down, and scare us both to death.
Several parcels arrived from Amazon this morning – the first parts of our 1985 time machine. A varsity jacket, and nerd glasses for me. Hawkins school alumni t-shirts arrive tomorrow.
Now where’s that 1985 playlist on Spotify ?