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Review: Secret Cinema - The best ways to experience The Grand Budapest Hotel

Secret Cinema The Grand Budapest Hotel: The awkward life of the lobby boy

When else are you going to swan around in a fictional eastern European hotel flanked by purple-suited lobby boys?


The Grand Budapest Hotel is open to guests and although we can't tell you where it is, we can tell you that a treat lies in store if you are one of the lucky holders of a ticket (or planning to be).


Unlike Secret Cinema's previous events, this time the film is no secret. And this particular event is surely every Wes Anderson fan's dream. When else are you going to swan around in a fictional eastern European hotel, flanked by purple-suited lobby boys?


The venue is glowingly impressive as you approach the door and inside there's detail to match the intricacies of the film itself. Hotel staff are ready to show you around and there's lots to explore, though maybe a little less immersive than you might expect. Be prepared to work at it a little and you may find it pays off.


On the face of it there's a fair bit of preparation required: full 1930s evening dress, various arts and culture based tasks and a selection of items to bring, including a suitcase and identity papers. But, for one night only, go with it. ...Even if you are not, in fact, a Wes Anderson fan and have merely been dragged along by a crazed companion.


Seeing as we can't give too many secrets away, here are a few thoughts on how to approach the situation should you get your hands on a ticket:


Be the character

The instructions are for fine evening attire. You are referred to the seasonal style book and heartily encouraged to wear your favourate hat, so go all out. Become one of the hotel's grand dames or wealthy gentlemen. Don the gloves and the pearls, or the silk pocket square and the moustache. In fact, adopt the whole demeanour, accent and all. Have the the concierge at your beck and call.


Be infuriatingly curious

Lots of the characters are hotel staff so although they'll address you politely and help you on your way, you'll have to ask some questions to get to the good bits. Ask around, spend some time talking to the people you meet and you'll be rewarded.


Lounge in the lobby

This Grand Budapest Hotel is quite a venue and the lobby is the centre of the night's events. Pitch a spot at the elegant champagne bar, order yourself a Zubrowka cocktail and watch the action unfold. There's schnitzel within teetering distance if the hunger strikes.


Go on a quest

As the pre-event instructions from The Management explain, you are advised to bring with you one or more of a selection of items. While you needn't put yourself out to bring them all, having one or two will help you piece together a few parts of the story, and if not you'll have some fun along the way. If anyone finds out what to do with that alpine postcard please share the secret.


Start something

Some of the guests were so convincingly turned out it became hard to decide who was part of the establishment and who wasn't. But the point is, you don't need to leave it to the actors to prompt you into action. If the band strikes up, lead the dance.


At £53 a ticket this is not going to be a cheap night, so make sure you're prepared. Unfortunately there's no champagne included in the price (though you might expect there should be), but you do get to see an incredible film in a setting like no other. If you're still curious, watch the trailer.


Buy tickets to Secret Cinema's Grand Budapest Hotel and sign the guest book here