Travelling up the escalators at Angel this week I noticed 3 posters for immersive events based on films or TV shows  – The Great Gatsby, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Stranger Things.

A quick trawl of London events this winter brings up around 40 experiences that develop other properties, from Sherlock Holmes escape rooms to the ‘cushty’ dining experience based on Only Fools and Horses.
Having worked at Disney, I am very aware of the franchise model that extends the life of properties far beyond their original medium, but i’m also aware that this constant regurgitation of creative can feel like flogging a dead horse (not the cart driving experience based on Steptoe and Son that i’m sure is in development).
There’s nothing wrong with theming an experience or developing an existing property in all sorts of weird and wonderful directions, but sometimes this can create a dilution of the original, failing to add to the legacy.
The ‘mother’ of all these events is probably Secret Cinema, who started in 2007 and have now run over 70 different screenings across the world. Nowadays their events are huge, even borrowing real props from the films and taking place in spaces that resemble genuine movie sets.
I miss the charm of their earlier events – the custard pie throwing craziness of Bugsy Malone at The Troxy or the claustrophobic chaos of Alien. Nowadays the crowds, the expense, the lack of surprise and to be frank, the commercialisation of every part of the operation has reduced it from a genuine joy to something you feel you have to experience just to be part of the in-crowd,
These should be events that you should truly, madly, deeply want to engage with not something where you just let them take the money and run.