Wowcher Gets Wet and Wild @ Hot Tub Cinema


When it comes to kicking back and unwinding, there are a couple of staple indulgences on which we can always rely: A powerful cinema experience, with its ability to transport us to faraway worlds and regale us with thrilling tales of derring-do, is perfect for momentarily distracting us from our daily worries; Soaking in a hot tub is also a sure-fire winner, what with the combination of soothing, heated water and massaging bubbles making us feel, just for a moment, like everything is going to be all right.

For eons, these two disparate relaxation methods could only be enjoyed individually. The thought of combining the two was unthinkable, radical, akin to Columbus saying that the world was round. But now, in 2015, the pioneering folks at Hot Tub Cinema have done just that. They have taken an historic step in a brave new direction and, with it, revolutionised the movie watching experience.

The other week, I had the immense fortune of being able to catch Back to the Future when the Hot Tub Cinema came to Hackney. Given my blinding adoration for this movie (it’s really, probably, quite unhealthy), I’ve seen it something approaching a hundred times and in every way possible – or so I thought. As I arrived at the venue – a vast studio space lined with inflatable palm trees and underwear bunting – I could tell that this was going to be something new and wonderful.

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Once you’ve collected your tickets and donned your bathing suit, you are directed to your own personal tub. Walking into the arena is like venturing into the compound in Mad Max 2: You enter a sub-society, complete with its own laws, rules and regulations. You trade in money for chips that can be redeemed for beer, cocktails, soft drinks and snacks, enjoy waiter service direct to your watery domain and, most importantly, experience the film in a way unlike any other.

Challenging the attitude of people who loudly tut when others talk or giggle in the cinema (ahem, myself included), the governing ethos here is that of not just watching films but celebrating them. Far from being annoying, it actually unites the whole venue: You laugh louder when Biff tells Marty to ‘make like a tree and get out of here,’ cheer with more conviction when George lands that punch, and take part in a choral reciting of the film’s iconic final line.

As soon as the final credits roll, the venue transforms again. Before you can utter ‘Great Scott’, the tubs have been filled with bubble bath, the rave lights are on and the music has been turned all the way up to eleven. It’s the most hip and happening party to end a hubbly-bubbly movie-going experience, and one that we heartily recommend snapping up if you ever get the chance.

In fact, from 29th October until 7th November 2015, Bristolians will have just that. The Paintworks Event Space on Central Road will, for seven one-off nights, become home to the Hot Tub Cinema, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in your favourite movies in a way you won’t forget. So whether you want to not use the ‘z’ word, talk about scary movies, be moved by the circle of life, partake in some a-capella, sing along, come what may, reboot an old programme from the ‘80s or are just ready to paaartaaay, simply head over to Wowcher to see how you can become part of something amazing.

Cinema seats? Where we’re going, we don’t need cinema seats…

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