Hot Tub Cinema – a review

The fact it’s 5pm and I can only just bring myself to write about Hot Tub Cinema last night is surely testament to how much fun was had (hint: Too much fun for a Tuesday night). What made the whole experience even more surreal was the fact the venue was located in a warehouse just a stone’s throw from my office. At 6.25pm I left work and by 6.27pm I was standing by a giant glittery Oscar statue being registered by a woman in an animal onesie.

Once inside it got even more surreal, with all the staff dressed as animals (bar one man in a tutu and wig) and most of the guests in some form of elaborate fancy dress. I’d felt embarrassed turning up with just a pair of flippers and a float as my contribution, but as it turned out they went down a treat (however, fishing a flipper out of a dirty, tepid hot tub at the end of the night was a definite low point).

Now, moving on to the facilities…There was a licensed bar serving a variety of alcoholic beverages – which you could purchase with pre-bought tokens stored in a handy wallet around your wrist – as well as traditional cinema snacks like popcorn and hot dogs. Much to our relief there was also ‘table’ service during the film, meaning you didn’t have to get out of the hot water and traipse – tipsy and sodden – over to the bar.

The only downside was the size of the hot tubs. Billed as being big enough to fit eight (though to be fair to the organisers they did say six would be more comfortable), I can only assume they were talking about eight toddlers. With six of us in it the water levels were treacherously high, and by the time eight had clambered in…well, let’s just say it was a good job we all knew one another, and that nobody was claustrophobic. Fortunately the lovely organisers allowed us to spill over into the adjacent free tub shortly after the film commenced, which made for a much more enjoyable viewing experience.

Much as I love Ferris Bueller’s Day Off it was somewhat hard to concentrate on the film given the novelty of the surroundings. At certain points in the film the staff encouraged everyone to stand up and dance around in their tubs; cue much hilarity and more than a bit of hot-tub-hopping.

With the film finished and the music cranked up to ear-splitting levels the event descended into full-scale, drink-fuelled chaos, with people leaping from one tub to the next with wild abandon. When I turned around and found myself face-to-crotch with a tub of naked men I knew it was time to take my leave and stumble back out into the real world.

To conclude with the words of Ferris Bueller himself: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I urge you, dear reader, not to miss out on Hot Tub Cinema. It’s ridiculous, but it’s an experience you won’t forget.

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My friends won’t thank me for putting this on the world wide web, but hey, all in the name of research…

Hot tubs and naughtiness

Tonight I’m most excited to be going to the Hot Tub Cinema to see one of my favourite eighties films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you haven’t seen it and are a fan of silly coming of age comedies then I would strongly recommend you do (I would suggest heading down to your local Blockbuster to rent it this very eve, but given the state that particular company’s in at the moment perhaps not. Though come to think of it they might be doing it on sale for a good price…?)

I used to love watching films about naughty school children, not least because I considered myself to be one and delighted in any opportunity to prove it. At primary school my finest (or least fine, depending on which side of the fence you sit in the morality stakes) moment was when my best friend and I managed to flood the toilets by sneaking out of morning assembly, putting plugs in all the sinks, turning the water on full and then slipping back into the room again before anyone noticed. Hours later, when the headmistress hauled the entire school back into the hall and demanded a confession – threatening everyone with punishment should the guilty parties not step forward – we merely sat with serene expressions as a murmur of discontent ran through the crowd.

But getting back to hot tub cinema; what a concept! If only I’d thought of it myself! Find a roof top or deserted warehouse, hire a big screen projector and a handful of hot tubs and market your event as a time-limited opportunity for groups of hip Londoners to watch classic films whilst wearing wigs and other ridiculous theme-related paraphernalia. Add to the (already not cheap at £28 a head) mix a licensed bar and you have got a money spinning scheme of which your parents (or at the very least your peers) would be proud.

I shall report back.

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If tonight’s half as cool as this I’ll be delighted!